Yesterday, John McGrillen, CEO of Tourism NI was present at Crumlin Road Gaol as they launched a brand new tour based on the history of the Troubles.
The 5 star visitor attraction has created a 4.5 hour experience to give visitors interested in the history of Northern Ireland a detailed insight into happenings during the conflict in Northern Ireland and tell the story from all sides of the community.
The new Troubles Tour will be tour guide led and will take visitor through the heart of Belfast’s most divided communities including the infamous Shankill and Falls roads where visitors will hear first-hand from ex-prisoners from both sides of the conflict. The three mile journey will intersect Belfast most notorious structures, The Peace Walls, which has divided our people for decades. The tour concludes back at Crumlin Road Gaol, once known as Europe’s Alcatraz, a prison fortress in heart of North Belfast! When participants arrive back at the jail they will be able to rest their feet and re-fuel with a much needed bowl of stew and a pint of Guinness at Cuffs Bar & Grill before beginning the last leg of the tour through the prison itself. During the prison tour visitors will learn the role of H.M.P. Belfast during the Troubles and gain an understanding of the roles played by the security forces including the Prison Service, RUC, British Army and RAF.
Phelim Devlin, Director at Crumlin Road Gaol commented “We had noticed a gap in the market for this type of tour and knew it would be of interest to many people, both national and international”.
He continued “The Troubles Tour will cover all aspects of the more recent history here at Crumlin Road Gaol and in the local area including the insights from security services, loyalists and republicans communities. This tour will provide an enhanced visitor experience at our 5 star visitor attraction in addition to contributing and enriching the growing tourism industry here in Belfast.”
Crumlin Road Gaol is one of Belfast’s leading visitor attractions and since opening it has welcomed more than 900,000 visitors. Known as ‘The Crum’ by locals the prison was built in 1845 and closed in 1996. After extensive renovations the gaol re-opened as a visitor attraction and conference centre in 2012. Today the attraction offers historical guided tours daily from 10am – 4.30pm which allows the public to explore within the walls and hear the history of the prison and its inmates. The site also boasts a quirky restaurant, Cuffs Bar and Grill, The Crum coffee shop and hosts #LiveAtTheCrum concert nights on a regular basis.
For more details on the new Troubles Tour, and to book, call Crumlin Road Gaol on 028 9074 1500 or visit www.crumlinroadgaol.com. The cost is £35 and the tour is recommended for those age 15 and over.