Ireland

Class Adventure Time to Belfast!

Chicago went 329 days without snow, and when it finally did snow, I was in London. My first encounter of snow for 2012-2013 was in Belfast shocking as it may be, it was more like a blizzard than snow.

Wet and soggy day in Belfast

Wet and soggy day in Belfast

This could only mean while taking the tour of Belfast in the double-decker bus, Sight-Seeing Belfast, there was little chances of taking good guality pictures.

Through the entire journey I was wiping the window of inside and out in order to capture pictures of what Belfast had to offer to a tourist.

The first sight we saw was the Titanic Shipyards. The Titanic Dock and Pumphouse and The Titanic Walking Tour both have become the most highly rated tours in Belfast, and the leading Titanic tour anywhere in the world. It has passion, expert knowledge and the site where she was built. The new Titanic Belfast attraction is the largest Titanic attraction in the world and is a technology led visitor experience.

Titanic Shipyards

The Titanic Dock and Pumphouse

We then drove past Stormont and Parliament Buildings. This remarkable building has got immense history, and is the home of the new Assembly.

St Georges Market is a heritage market, which is right beside The Waterfront Hall and River Lagan, has a market every day, Saturday and Sunday morning offering local food, local crafts and live music.

St. George's Market view from the bus

St. George’s Market view from the bus

The pictures that I did capture were of the many murals that are present throughout the city of Belfast to commemorate people who have died or have done something in relation to riots.

The Cupar Way Peace Wall is one of the original ‘ peace ‘ barriers in our city. This area is completely safe for tourists, so please feel free to hop off, sign your name on the wall and explore the Shankill Road and Falls Road. These streets were the scenes of early civil unrest in the 1960′s and initially temporary barricades were erected. Over time, these became more permanent.

Murals along the road

Murals along the road

Once our tour ended, we walked to a little café accross from the office of The Detail. According to their website, The Detail aims to help put investigative journalism at the core of the news industry in Northern Ireland. It aims not to challenge existing news outlets, broadcasters or newspaper, but to supplement them.

The Detail's Office

The Detail’s Office

The site is run and the content produced by Belfast-based independent TV and online production company Below the Radar, which is owned by UK wide independent producer Ten Alps Plc. Atlantic Philanthropies and Northern Ireland Screen fund it, and it has five full-time journalists.

Of the five journalists, we were able to meet Ruth O’Reilly, Barry McCaffrey and Niall McCracken.

Ruth O'Reilly speaking with our class

Ruth O’Reilly speaking with our class

I was very interested in the work McCracken had produced. While speaking with him it was evident to see he uses a lot of data visualization to compose his investigations.

His investigation he did into hospital fluid-related deaths of children in Ireland was very informative and eye-opening. This piece along with others also allowed for McCracken to win Newcomer of the Year at the 2012 Coca-Cola CIPR Media Awards in Belfast’s Europa Hotel in may 2012.

Niall McCracken talking about his work

Niall McCracken talking about his work

I could really see myself working in The Detail uncovering investigations and educating the public on data driven pieces.

A couple of us were then taken over to Below the Radar’s office, which happens to be right next to BBC, and we were able to see The Detail’s office, but also Below the Radar TV.

Below the Radar was set up in February 2006 by award-winning journalists and TV producers Trevor Birney and Ruth O’Reilly.

Specialising in current affairs and hard-edged factual output, the company has produced films for the BBC, RTÉ, Channel 4 and Sky as well as on-line news and other digital content.

BT Offices

BT Offices

We left the office and made the tretorous journey to BT where we met blogger Alan Meban.

“In a world where a blog is created every second does the world really need another blog? Well, it’s got one. An irregular set of postings, weaving an intricate pattern around a diverse set of subjects. Comment on cinema, books, technology, politics and the occasional rant about life. Alan … in Belfast, Northern Ireland,” states Meban’s blog.

Alan Meban talking about blogging

Alan Meban talking about blogging

Meban is an IT enterprise architect at BT where he has worked for fifteen years. He is a parent governor at Brownlee Primary School in Lisburn and serves on the Youth & Children’s Board of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, helping run youth events and an annual technology camp.

By the time we were finished listening to Meban’s discussion on blogging, I was exhausted and could not wait to get on our train and head back to Dublin. I can honestly say I fell asleep on the train leaning on a very cosy Tim, my classmate.

Tim with Jerry (The giraffe)

Tim with Jerry (The giraffe)

One thought on “Class Adventure Time to Belfast!

  1. Pingback: Prepping for Belfast…. « Fairy Godsister's Blog

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