Our patience will achieve more than our force.
The history of English oppression and Ireland’s struggle for independence is a key theme of any tour of the country but it comes into sharper focus once you cross the border into Northern Ireland. Despite a decade of peace, the old hatreds and prejudices are clearly visible in places like Bogside in Derry or the Shankill and Falls Roads areas of Belfast. I did not feel welcomed in these areas by the local community, and it seemed intrusive to thrust even our small tour group into this area of raw tension and passion.
Of course to understand Irish history, you must come to grips with these areas and the sectarian violence that forged their hatreds into steely resistance but the wounds are still raw and it seems wrong to turn their suffering into a tourist photo opportunity. Go by all means but step lightly into the community because its their home not our tourist destination.