Sunday, 25 October 2009

The Troubles tour

Before leaving W5, we asked one the staff members to call for a “Black Cab Tour” to pick us up outside the Odyessy Complex to do the political tour of Belfast. Our Black Cab arrived 5 minutes later, and we got into the back of the cab to learn about Belfast and the “Troubles” through Shankill and Falls Road. I asked for the “not so gruesome” tour for the kids, and our tour guide was really great with explaining things to the kids, and then explaining in more detail to me when the kids were out of earshot.
Our first stop was through Shankill to look at the Protestant murals and to explain and offer some understanding of some of the different murals that represent the history of the area and their view of the “Troubles”. Then we moved onto the Fall Street Catholic area to look at their memorials and understand these murals.
I am not going to talk about these murals, but provide you with links if you want any more information on each mural.
Murals in Shankill..

The Red Hand of Ulster. Read the Mythical Origins in the link

Depicting the release of prisoners from H Block "The Maze" Prison. Read the Peace Process.
1969 Gold Rush.

I love this story. A block of tenement buildings were knocked down in Christopher Street. Some of the children were playing in the rubble and found a stack of gold coins and the rush began. As word spread, people raced to find some for themselves. It was rumoured that 2 brothers who were money lenders lived in the building, that they were possibly Jewish and didn't trust the bank....but details are sketchy! But a great story!!

A mural depicting the UDU, UFF and UDA

The boys thought this was matter where you stood, that gun was pointing directly at you!!

A mural depicting the Orange Walks.

Depicting the Battle of Talavera in 1809
Depicting the "Every Child has a right to play"

Depicting King William's War

Depicting Oliver Cromwell

Joe, this one is for you. The Divis Tower. Our taxi driver said you wouldn't recognise this building with a roof!

Falls Road Murals

Along the International Wall... (these were difficult to photograph as the Falls Road is really busy with traffic)
Depicts Frederick Douglass

Black and White Mural "Everyone has the right to live free from sectarian/racist harassment!!!", and a taxi advertisement...(taxi driver couldn't explain why this was on the wall)

Depicting Liam McCarthy , and a mural depicting the American blockade of Cuba.

Sinn Fein headquarters
On the side of the Sinn Fein building is the mural of Bobby Sands.
The Clonard Martyrs Memorial Garden, (difficult to find a link to any information to this memorial online, other than other people's blogs), It is a memorial to remember the IRA members and civilians who lost their lives in the "Troubles".

Poster of the Bombay Street Riots

Then it was off to the Peace Lines .
You can write messages on the wall, and to commemorate some of the "famous" people who have written on the wall, some of the quotes have been stamped out in metal for people to read.
(Note the one under the Dalai Lama's quote...."Peace starts with a BBQ + VB. Well done Daveo from Loftus! ;)

While I was in the bookstore, I picked up a book by Susan McKay, Bear in Mind These Dead. I am only 100 pages in, but it is an informative read on the Troubles, and the victims families. A great read for anyone interested in the subject

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