Shared History tours planned

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Banbridge District Council’s Good Relations Department is currently organising a number of “Shared History” tours during 2014.

Confirmed tours will take in Dublin and Drogheda with plans for a walking tour of Belfast and a historical tour of Derry/Londonderry.

The “Shared History” tours, which will be led by a highly accomplished historian, will offer the general public an opportunity to learn first-hand about key historical events, locations and individuals.

Each tour will give an opportunity to recognise how the history of this island has moulded our present day both at home and globally while also having the opportunity to pay respect to those who have gone before.

Dolores Donnelly, Banbridge District Council Good Relations Officer, said, “It is clear from the overwhelming success of the lecture series the council delivered in 2013 that the general public have a great appetite to learn more about our “Shared History” on this island.

“As well as the Shared History tours further lecture series’ are being planned for late Spring 2014 looking at the history of Ireland pre-1914 and another in September commemorating the beginning of WWI, there is a great deal local history to visit and gain a greater understanding of what we share.”

The Dublin tours will operate on Friday & Saturday, March 21 and 29. This tour will incorporate visits to Grangegorman Military Cemetery which was opened in 1876 for the burial of British Service personal and contains war graves from both World Wars.

The tour will move to Islandbridge Memorial Gardens, one of the most famous memorial gardens in Europe. Designed by the famous architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, these beautiful gardens are dedicated to the memory of 49,400 Irish soldiers who died in the 1914–1918 War whose names are contained in the beautifully illustrated Harry Clarke manuscripts which can be viewed in the gardens granite bookrooms.

The tour continues to Arbour Hill & Collins Barracks Museum and finally Glasnevin Cemetery & Museum. Opened in 2010 Glasnevin Museum was honoured in 2011 as the Best International Museum at the Museum & Heritage Awards for Excellence in London. Glasnevin Cemetery is the resting place of some of the ordinary and truly extraordinary individuals who helped shape the Ireland of today.

The Drogheda Area tours will take place on Thursday 6, Monday 10 & Saturday 22 March. This tour will start at The Battle of the Boyne Centre with a walk of the historical battle site, weather permitting followed by a short trip into Drogheda to visit a number of Cromwellian sites and view an original Williamite Sword.

The next aspect of the tour offers a trip to the Ledwidge Cottage Museum.

The cottage is the birthplace of WWI Irish poet Francis Ledwidge who was killed at the third battle of Ypres on July 31, 1917 and whose first volume of fifty poems, ”Songs of the Fields”, was published whilst a serving soldier in 1915. The museum is a perfect example of a 19th century farm labourer’s cottage and houses the poet’s works and artefacts from WWI, alongside memorabilia of the period.

Time permitting the final stop on the tour will be to Monsterboice Abbey which dates back to the 5th century and includes impressive ruins of two churches, one of the tallest round towers in Ireland and two of the finest examples of high crosses.

The cost for each tour is £10 per person to be paid on booking. Each tour is offered on a first come first served basis and individual bookings are limited to two places per tour.

For further information, to book a place or be placed on a reserve list for “Shared History” tours during 2014 contact Marion Mitchell, Community Services, Banbridge District Council, Email: or Tel: 028 4066 0605.