T:BUC 2019 - Good Relations Trip
On 8th July 2019, a group of over 30 young people from across Northern Ireland took part in a cross-border day trip, organised by Bytes as part of our work with the Executive Office’s Together: Building a United Community (T:BUC) scheme.
Having organised a similar trip in 2018, Bytes staff decided to follow the formula that had proven successful previously. Traveling by coach, the group would drive down to Dublin, via Drogheda, visiting the site of the Battle of the Boyne and then Croke Park respectively. At both sites, the group would enjoy a guided tour and have a chance to learn more about various culturally significant events for communities in Northern Ireland. The timing of the trip was particularly relevant, taking place as it did only a few days before 12th July celebrations were due to be held across Northern Ireland, which can be a source of tension in divided communities.
At the first stop, the Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre, the group toured the museum, watched a presentation on the history of the battle and learned about its historical and cultural significance.
In Dublin, the group visited Croke Park, the home of the GAA. For many, it was their first exposure to Gaelic games. As well as a pitch side tour and changing room visit, the group also explored the GAA museum and learned about the importance of the sport in Ireland.
Although it was a long drive back to Belfast, the young people had a brilliant day out and all agreed that they had learned a lot about topics they hadn’t known much, if anything, about before. We’ll be continuing to work with them as we run T:BUC Camps over the summer, hopefully building on this experience to foster further good relations with participants.