Peace Murals

MSCM – Ireland Trip

Top of the mornin’ to ya. 

A lot of people have asked me about my trip to Ireland with my graduate program cohort. Unfortunately, when I’m asked how it was or what we did, I have a hard time putting into words all of the stops we made, or what it specifically was that we learned about. Primary reason being we experienced a lot and we learned a lot.

I constantly found myself being quiet (at peace) through out our trip, because of all of the inspirational people and stories we encountered. These were people we met during tours, interactions at a pub, and designated learning sessions.

Ireland, as a whole has been through so much, yet they are the most positive and collective group of people I’ve ever had the pleasure of interacting with. The peace I felt during my time there, was similar to the feeling you may have gotten when you leave a really good sermon at church. A sermon that just struck you to the core and got your attention; or the feeling you get when you’re open to hearing and experiencing new opinions and insights – a total state of learning.

If you’re at the pub grabbing a pint, they immediately know you’re not from there and will make sure you leave feeling welcomed.

Their music and dance culture is amazing.

and yes, their Guinness does taste different, better.

So with that, this is my attempt to summarize my 8 day trip with some of the most amazing and motivational people I’ve ever met.


Fresh off the plane.

Everyone who knows me, knows I am NOT a morning person. BUT, I got it together this week (for the most part) and was really excited when we hit the Irish ground (I immediately started taking photos, hence the photo from a moving bus).

Our first stop was Monasterboice Round Tower and High Crosses.


Area surrounding the Celtic Crosses.


The crew filing in and zipping up.


Area surrounding the Celtic Crosses pt. II.


Area surrounding the Celtic Crosses pt. III


Inside the Cemetery.


Beautiful farm house nearby.

Crumlin Road Gaol

Our next stop was the Crumlin Road Gaol (prison), (I’m not going to go into the history lesson of this, you can click the link to read more about it). BUT it was cool, and had a really positive spin on their atrium of the prison.


Here she is.


Underneath the Crumlin. This passageway would take the prisoners over to the Courthouse.


Tam being artistic.


Our tour guide really had our attention. Pretty sure he was telling a ghost story here.

This next photo kind of got me. Our tour guide took us into a room, which was the final living quarters for a prisoner who was sentenced to death. Prisoners who entered this room were never seen coming out of it.

They would spend weeks in the room secluded with stationed guards until their execution day. The room had a trap door built into it and when that day came, the guards were able to flip the prisoner around, strap them to the noose, and then they would drop to their death, all within seconds and no warning.


The last thing a prisoner sentenced to death would see.


Mediation Northern Ireland

The next day, we got to spend time with some professionals in the CM industry. Picking their brains in the peace process following The Troubles, the role of the community during the process, as well what family mediation looks like from the Irish perspective.


Beautiful Lauren


Joe being suave.


Here is that “picking of the professional brain”, I was talking about


Streets of Belfast ❤

Peace walls

These walls border the Protestant and Catholic neighborhoods. If you want a really good info documentary look up the Art of Conflict on Netflix. It provides a lot of good context about these murals and their possible future.

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This mural is a reminder of those who were involved in the 1981 Hunger Strike


Looking into the Protestant side of town through their wall  – There are literally walls that separate the different communities in N. Ireland.


View from the Stormont building.


Area surrounding the Carrickfergus Castle.



Ph D. Dave – inside Carrickgergus.


City of Carrickfergus


City of Carrickfergus pt. II


I can’t really put into words how SMALL this place made me feel. I could have sat here all day long BUT, it was raining and very wind/ cold… AND we had other places to be, so I couldn’t literally sit there all day long. 😉


Giants Causeway pt. II


Giants Causeway pt. III


Giants Causeway pt. IV


Giants Causeway pt. V

If you are ever in Derry – this museum is a MUST.


Inside the Museum of Free Derry pt. II


The City of Legend-Derry 🙂


Free Derry Corner.


The most awesome tour guide – Garvin

This man, was able to speak to us about his personal Bloody Sunday experience, without any hatred or upset in his voice. He had so much positivity that he made you want to hug anyone who had ever done you wrong.


View from atop of Derry’s walls.

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Inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral


St. Patrick’s Cathedral


Gorgeous architecture. Gothic and Romanesque arches 😉


Phoenix Park – 1,750 acres of pure green!

So, hopefully this gives you some idea of the experiences and stops we made in Ireland.

With that,

and the rest of the day to you”.