“Despite its focus on historic events, reconciliation tourism is not about the past. It is a counter against exploitation of the past for political or personal purposes, and about taking control of the future. Sites devoted to the reconciliation objective require us to look into ourselves and to maintain our awareness of the extent to which a repetition of such evils remains a continuing possibility.” Ian Kelly, International Institute for Peace through Tourism, 2007
The aim of the tour in its simplest form is to connect the most important sites in Belfast City Centre’s history of the Troubles, explain how the conflict affected the daily lives of its citizens, and the pain and suffering they endured. But also, to examine how elements such as acceptance, forgiveness, honesty and reconciliation have combined to move the city so far from it’s traumatic past.
Our guides are amongst the most knowledgeable ‘conflict historians’ in Northern Ireland. Paul Donnelly is the lead guide, a lecturer in Political History and Belfast native who was born in the year the Troubles started. Paul is one of the most respected and experienced mediators and conflict resolution specialists in the country.