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Ireland 2014 Day 5

Another magical day in Ireland, well, Northern Ireland!

We began with a sobering visit to the Free Derry Museum.  The guide on site was John Kelly, whose brother Michael was killed in the 'Bloody Sunday' ordeal.  Michael was just seventeen - the youngest of the 14 killed.  The museum is clearly a labor of love to John and all the family and community members involved. 

We then headed out along the coast and had a fantastic photo stop at Dundee Castle before reporting for our tour of Bushmill's Distillery.  The oldest operating distillery in the world, it was a very interesting and informative tour which concluded with a taste and some lunch.

Then it was off to Giant's Causeway which was magnificent!  Frank told us about Finn McCool and the folklore story (vs the scientific story) of the Causeway's history.  Just as we boarded the bus for departure the sunny skies gave way to clouds and some rain - but we're inside for the remainder of the day, so it worked out to be perfect timing.

While driving to Belfast, Richard concluded his lecture on Northern Ireland with the Peace Talks led by George Mitchell (former US Senator from Maine).  One interesting note was that after the pro-treaty group won the vote, a large wave of anti-treaty supporters emigrated to the US - which led to a significant population of the Irish-Americans having very anti-Britain tendencies still today.

We heard about the 1920 "Better Government for Ireland" law which forced state building after the evil war and led to 50 years of having no beaurocrat in London assigned to Northern Ireland - and Britain's very hands-off approach for so many years.

As always, Richard's knowledge of everything Ireland is awesome and everyone is so thrilled to have him share just a bit of his expertise with us.

Tonight we have a group dinner at the hotel and if the rain clears, perhaps some will wander across the street to one of the pubs.


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