Sadly, our Northern Ireland tour leader and expert Seamus Kelters has died. Seamus both designed and led our tours in the region for the last 6 years. He had an immensely detailed knowledge of the politics of the region and wonderful ability to tell a story. He impressed and charmed everyone who joined him. He will be sorely missed.
We are appointing a new tour expert shortly. The itinerary we have was designed by Seamus and will remain unchanged.
Almost two decades on from the end of the “troubles” Northern Ireland seems to be experiencing a period of significant stability. Once irreconcilable foes are bound together at Stormont, the region’s parliament, and the chance of a return to violence is remote.
Our tour traces the steps that led to the historic Good Friday Agreement; from secretive talks between church leaders and paramilitaries, through to the signing of the agreement in 1998 that paved the way to a power sharing agreement.
|DATES||Saturday, 7th July 2018 – Saturday, 14th July 2018|
Single supplement: £450.00
Meeting politicians, community leaders, former paramilitaries and ordinary people – from both loyalist and nationalist communities – we ask what’s next for Northern Ireland? The UK leaving the EU poses important questions for the province – as post Brexit it becomes the only part of the UK to share a land border with the EU, plus the Tory coalition with the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) negotiated after the UK’s June 2017 election could place significant strain on the province’s delicate balances of power.
Single supplement: £450.00
As with all of our expert-led tours, we ensure that our groups remain small and intimate, and will not exceed 14 people.
As with all of our tours the itinerary focuses on current affairs, and owing to the dynamic nature of politics means that local conditions may lead us adjust the final schedule.
The Road to Peace
BBC Correspondent Seamus Kelters traces the steps that led to the historic Good Friday Agreement. What now for Northern Ireland as the ripples of Brexit can also be felt from across the Irish Sea?
Northern Ireland has experienced a period of significant stability, almost two decades on from the end of “the troubles”. Once irreconcilable foes are all represented at Stormont, the region’s parliament, and the chance of a return to violence is remote. But significant differences between the province’s two main communities remain.
At meetings with politicians, community leaders, former paramilitaries and ordinary people we ask what’s next for Northern Ireland? The UK’s uncertain political future will also have an impact. The province becomes the only part of the UK to share a land border with the EU after Brexit, And the Conservative coalition with the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) negotiated after the UK’s June 2017 election could strain on the delicate balance of power.
The tour is led by Seamus Kelters, a BBC journalist with decades of experience.
Saturday, 7th July: Derry/Londonderry
Sunday, 8th July: Stroke City
Monday, 9th July: Causeway and Belfast
Tuesday, 10th July: Belfast Tour and The Troubles Legacy
Wednesday, 11th July: The Settlement and Challenge from Brexit
Thursday, 12th July: Prisoners, Parades and Continued Divisions
Friday, 13th July: Out of Belfast
Saturday, 14th July
All of your accommodation and meals with water are included, as well as local transport (except during your free time).
Flights are not included in the price and need to be arranged by customers themselves or with an agent.
Following the news
Like all our tours the itinerary is focused on current affairs. Events on the ground may change and the final schedule may be adjusted accordingly.
This tour starts in Londonderry/ Derry and ends in Belfast.
As on all our expert-led tours the groups are deliberately small and will not exceed 14 people. Frequently we travel with 10-12 people. Limited spaces are available.
UK passport holders do not need a visa. Other passport holders may require a visa. It is always good to check with the embassy in your country for latest advice regarding visa requirements.
The tour is mid-summer. Days can be hot and evenings cooler. Some rain is to be expected.
Sunblock and rain gear are essential.
What to Wear
Dress is generally relaxed and casual. We suggest taking layers as the weather is different in the various regions. Rain showers are not uncommon too so please ensure you pack a rain jacket. Most important is to have comfortable shoes for walking.
Men: Will need a jacket and tie for some of the meetings.
Women: You will need smarter dress for one or two meetings.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office publishes regularly updated travel information on its website www.fco.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo which you are recommended to consult before booking and in good time before departure. Where it considers it appropriate to do so, the FCO may advise against all travel or all but essential travel to particular countries or parts of particular countries. Similarly, the FCO may withdraw any such previously given advice. Where the FCO issues such advice, we may as a result cancel your tour or make changes so as to avoid the area concerned (see clause 10). Alternatively, we may ask you to sign a form confirming you wish to proceed with the tour notwithstanding the FCO advice. It is in the nature of the itineraries we offer that the FCO may have issued such advice in relation to the country or parts of the country we are intending to visit prior to confirmation of your booking. In this case, you will be asked to sign the above form before we confirm your booking.
Advice on health requirements may be obtained from your GP, or alternatively from the Department of Health leaflet Advice on Health for Travelers, or the Department of Health in the UK. For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention you should visit http://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk/destinations.aspx
We suggest you visit your own doctor or local travel clinic who will have the most up-to-date travel advice, and be able to recommend any vaccinations prior to travel based on your medical history.
Great British Pounds.
Plugs are 3 pin UK.
Wifi is available in all hotels as well as many coffee shops and restaurants.
Kelters started as a senior reporter for the Irish News more than 20 years ago specialising in security, fair employment and the case of the Birmingham Six. Working for BBC Northern Ireland for the last 17 years, he has produced for its investigative strand and political unit and, for the last dozen years, has produced the evening news programme. His programmes on the IRA’s ‘stand down’ order and the Omagh trial verdict won separate Irish Film and Television Awards.
As a co-author of Lost Lives: The Stories of the Men, Women and Children who Died as a Result of the Northern Ireland Troubles, in 2001 he was awarded the Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize for the promotion of peace and reconciliation in Ireland. He has addressed both the European and International Societies for Traumatic Stress Studies and, last year, a conference at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard on the book.
Having been a Dart Fellow in 2002 and Senior Fellow in 2003, he served on the organisation’s executive commitee. The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma aims to educate and support journalists who encounter trauma in the course of their work. Kelters has helped design workshops for journalists in Ireland and post-Katrina New Orleans.
Having lived in Belfast for more than 40 years he recently moved to the countryside outside the city and is married with two sons.
I learned a lot – from the places we visited, from the fascinating group of people we met – and, not least, from Seamus. I couldn’t have asked for a more varied programme in a whirlwind tour. I now need some time to digest what I have heard and seen, and will do so in the coming weeks.
Everyone promised on the programme showed up; and everyone, without exception, was fascinating. Some of what I heard reinforced my thinking, some of what I heard challenged my beliefs, and some things were completely new or left field. HG