Northern Ireland and The Troubles with Lorraine Mills

Northern Ireland and The Troubles with Lorraine Mills


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The most recent armed conflict in the north of Ireland, known as The Troubles, began with civil unrest in the 1960s and ended with the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. But the roots of the struggle go back even farther. This seminar will help us understand the events leading up to this bloody period in Irish history and what has been done in recent years to foster peace and reconciliation across the island.

In 1969 violence erupted on the streets of Belfast and Derry, in the north of Ireland, between civil rights campaigners, police and sectarian mobs. The British Army was deployed to quell this civil unrest but would very soon become another participant in the conflict. Europe saw the most significant displacement of people since World War II, with over 1800 Irish people losing their homes. The conflict lasted for over 30 years, and nearly 3500 lives were lost.

To understand what led to this tragic period, we will go back briefly to 1921 to the partition of the island and the establishment of the state of Northern Ireland. To quote James Craig, Northern Ireland’s first Prime Minister, "This will be a protestant state for a protestant people," which meant it was going to be a very cold house for the 36% of the population who didn't share his religious beliefs. His political party, The Ulster Unionists, held control for the next 50 years by using gerrymandering to prevent many citizens from voting until 1972.

This seminar will look at the many different events which cemented the division between the two communities, such as the building of sectarian peace walls to separate the city in 1969, internment without trial, Bloody Sunday and Friday and the Hunger strikes of 1981. Finally, we will take you through the peace process and the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, facilitated and supported by the Irish American community.

Led by an expert on the Nothern Ireland Troubles, Lorraine Mills, this interactive seminar will give insight into Ireland's turbulent past. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with knowledge about Irish history, the peace and reconciliation process and an understanding of the the places featured in international news stories for many decades.

Born in 1968, Lorraine Mills was a Troubles baby and grew up in West Belfast, one of the most heavily associated and affected areas of the N. Ireland conflict. Her knowledge of this subject is therefore first hand, as she lived through this most turbulent part of Irish history. She has a BA (HONS) Degree in Hotel & Tourism Management, a HND (Higher national Diploma) in Leisure Studies & Local History, and an OCN & level 3 diploma in Tour Guiding. She spent several years living in Madrid, is a fluent Spanish speaker, and is currently studying French. She is a world-host ambassador and is qualified and recognised by the N. Ireland Tourist Board.

This conversation is not suitable for children under age 16

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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