27th May 2011
A cross community group of young people from Suffolk and Lenadoon completed two very informative political tours at the beginning of February. The tours, organised by SLIG workers Joe and Ciaran, aim to enhance young people's understanding of the various competing perspectives of Irish history in general and ‘The Troubles’ in particular.
On the 5th of February the group linked up with ex Loyalist prisoners William ‘Plum’ Smith and Noel Large to hear the social history of the Shankill, a Loyalist perspective of general Irish history with a specific focus on ‘The Troubles’. The tour started with a very lively question and answer session between the group and ‘Plum’ Smyth. Noel Large then took the young people on a tour of the Shankill, taking in a photographic exhibition in the Epic centre of the old UVF of 1912, various loyalist murals, the peace line and a visit to the Shankill garden of remembrance.
On the 12th of February it was the turn of ex republican POW Padraic MacCoitir to provide the young people with a flavour of a republican take on Irish history. The tour stopped at key places of contemporary and historical political significance such as; Bombay Street, the republican history museum, Crumlin road jail and Milltown cemetery. Padraic shared his opinions of various issues from the treatment of Republican political prisoners to Britain’s role in Ireland. The young people kept Padraic on his toes throughout with some very searching and penetrative questions.
We hope to do more tours like this with our young poeple in the future. For more information contact Ciaran at SLIG.