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My Troubled Past

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A Unique Tour of the Northern Ireland Conflict from a Victim and Participant

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Belfast Lad Tours offer a unique tour experience that tells the history, background and consequences of the 'Troubles' in Ulster from 1966 - 2013.  Francis Higgins takes you on a personal journey of his story as he survived a bomb attack and two incidents where those beside him were murdered in cold blood. He tells his story of watching as his great uncle drew the line of the current Peacewalls on his mother's coffee table in 1969 and his loss of two family members to the conflict. His first reaction was revenge but that was tempered by his mother and he then joined the British Army and served in Ulster on the streets of Belfast.  He tells of his bitterness that turned to anger that was shaped by the British Army into becoming part of Ulster's counter terrorism strategy.  His story however is one of understanding and hope not hate as he later qualified with a Master's Degree in History and taught Irish History as part of the European Union's Peace initiative. Francis ended up teaching Irish history the very areas he once patrolled and now works with those he once considered as his enemies and who are now his friends.  Francis completes his journey of political and academic transition with the story of his grandson Francis Finn Higgins a baby born to a new generation of Irish Citizen's in an Ireland still with unresolved issues but with its people committed to resolving those issues in the political area and no longer at the point of a gun.  

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