Visiting Northern Ireland

27 Nov

DSC_0208 copyA few weeks ago, as an NUin program we went to Northern Ireland.  On the first day we went to Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland.  The first thing we visited was the Parliament.  We were given an interesting presentation on the Parliament and its history, and then we were given a tour of the building.

In 1921, the home rule act went into affect, the act known as Government of Ireland Act 1920.  This enabled Northern Ireland to create its own Parliament.  The Northern Ireland Parliament consists of two houses, the House of Commons and the Senate.  The House of Commons consists of 52 seats while the senate consists of 26 seats.  On the tour we were able to go into both the House of Common chambers and the senate chambers.  We even got to learn some of the procedures that occur.  For example, when a vote is taken it is a verbal vote.  If the vote is too close to judge, then instead of taking a more modern approach and doing an electric vote, members each walk through the hallway on either the yes side or the no side, depending on their stance.  I thought it was a very interesting way of doing it.  Our tour guide told us that the reason they still do it is so that members from different parties have to walk together with people who share their opinion.  It helps to unify people.

On our second day there we visited the Rope Bridge and Giant’s Causeway.  I enjoyed both events.  I especially found the Giant’s Causeway legend to be interesting.  The legend goes that a man Fionn Mac angers a giant, and they plan to fight.  When the giant came over, however, Fionn Mac disguised himself as a baby.  Upon seeing the “son” of Fionn Mac, the giant ran away in fright destroying the preexisting bridge and creating Giant’s Causeway.

On our final day in Northern Ireland we were given a tour of Derry.  We were able to see the impacts that the Troubles truly had on Northern Ireland, through the memorials and portraits.  It was an especially significant day because it was Remembrance Sunday.  We also visited the Bloody Sunday Museum.  Our tour guide at the museum had lost his brother that day.  It was incredibly depressing being there, but also very informative.  Even though the last day of our time in Northern Ireland was sad, overall it was still a great trip, where I learned a lot.


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