This tour provides a fascinating insight into the resistance of the people in Ballymurphy to British rule in Ireland. Every street has its own story to tell in the form of local people – not just those who were involved directly in the armed struggle to end British occupation but of those who lived there and witnessed events that shaped their lives. Come and meet some of those people as you make your way through a very proud community which produced some of today’s political leadership.
Over 50 years have passed since the first of almost 700 houses were built in Ballymurphy. For more than 30 years, Ballymurphy has been to the fore of the present (and hopefully the last) phase of the 800 year old Anglo Irish conflict. During the last 30 years, British policies in Ireland transformed a working class community, with little interest in politics, into a square mile of solid progressive forward thinking activity. The boys and girls that roamed the streets in 1968 as the handful of politicised local residents attended the first marches for civil rights, have since grown into one of the world’s most respected and efficient guerrilla armies which has now come full circle and laid down its weapons in the march for an United Ireland.
Who were the people and families that made this ongoing march from guerrilla fighters to government ministers possible? What are the social and economic factors that have created the cohesive, dynamic and determined community that is now Ballymurphy? What makes the Ballymurphy people so proud on their Irish language and culture?
During the two hours walking tour of this housing estate that has been at the epicentre of the Irish struggle for freedom, you may get the opportunity to hear at first hand this unique Ballymurphy story from the local people themselves as they go about their daily business.
The tour starts in Raffo’s at the top of Whiterock Road, see map below: