While the troubles of the last century seemed to stunt the growth of arts and culture in Northern Ireland the truth is that it just became a little more hidden. The youth of the north took to the back streets, pubs and libraries to express themselves. Gaining knowledge and training their creativity. During the 1970s and 1980s street art, know as murals, began to spring up on the walls of Belfast and Derry. These usually portrayed strong political ideals and sensibilities painted with expert precision and detail. This time also saw glut of pop bands, usually of a punk persuasion, form and become successful in the region (The Undertones, Stiff Little Fingers and Ash being the more notable). Today Northern Ireland is blessed with a more peaceful existence and is thriving from the culture of its forefathers.
For years Northern Ireland struggled to find its literary identity, or rather, it struggled to showcase its literary identity. Deemed not British enough to find a market in the U.K and not Irish enough to register south of the border, Northern Irish literature was for years caught up in a political quagmire that failed to reveal its true potential. Some of Northern Ireland's more notable authors include (Lewis Carroll-Alice's Adventures in Wonderland-1865) and Seamus Heaney (Winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature, one of four Irishmen to do so and the only one born outside of Dublin).
With Northern Ireland enjoying a more settled period over the past two decades and reclaiming more of a national identity, its literary works have become more celebrated than ever. Below are some of the major libraries of the north as well as a few interesting tours that you can take to learn more about its literary heroes.
Find your way through the history of Northern Ireland's art via its galleries and installations. Discover classic paintings, sculptures and contemporary works by Northern Irish and international artists.
Having always been a form of escapism throughout its turbulent past, the music & concert venues of Northern Ireland continue to be as popular as ever during these times of peace. For the best selection of music venues, ranging from small Rock&Roll venues to grander classical music concert halls. Derry City is also a popular live music hub of the North.
Adare is a small town in Co. Limerick, known for its quaint and colourful thatched cottages. Adare is considered to be one of Ireland's most beautiful towns so stop and take in the view. Don't forget your camera today - the perfect chance to capture the essence of old Ireland.
Explore Adare Village along the Wild Atlantic Way.
Take a journey through this once troubled city. See the murals of the Loyalist Shankill Road & Nationalist Falls Road. The Troubles took their toll on the economic life of Belfast, but the past ten years of peace have returned much prosperity while the genuine friendliness of the city never left.
Originally built in 1823, Blarney Woollen Mills was mainly used for the spinning and weaving of wool. After it closed in 1973, it reopened in 1975 — as an Irish heritage shop.
Located alongside the River Shannon in County Limerick, on King's Island. Dating back to 922, to a time when Vikings were the inhabitants of the island (Thormodr Helgason, the Viking sea-king, built the first settlement here. The castle itself was built in 1200, under the instruction of King John of England.
The Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre commemorates the last pitched battle fought on British soil, in April 1746. Learn more about the Jacobite intent to overthrow the House of Hanover and return the House of Stuart to the British throne.
Located within Glenveagh National Park, Glenveagh Castle was built by Captain John George Adair between 1870 and 1873. Having made his fortune through land speculation in America, Adair return to Ireland and began large amounts of land in County Donegal. The castle was built in the Scottish Baronial style and is surrounded by a garden and commands stunning views of the nearby mountains, lakes, woodlands and valleys.
About Highland Folk Museum is a museum and open-air attraction located in the Scottish Highlands. It is designed to showcase the domestic and working lives of the early highland people.
Located close to the Killarney National Park, Moriarty's is an Authentic Irish Gift Store and Restaurant. Hand crafted Irish jewellery, Waterford Crystal and classic and modern tweed fashions and furnishings are all on offer at the gift store. The restaurant is an 85 seater offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Mount Congreve Gardens. Located in Kilmeaden, County Waterford, Mount Congreve Gardens is an 18th century Georgian estate and mansion. It was designed by the same architect that created both of Waterford's cathedrals, John Roberts.
Recently recognised as being one of the top 10 gardens in the world, Mount Stewart is a rich tapestry of planting plant life and stunning walking trails. The house dates back to the 19th century, and was the Irish seat of the Vane-Tempest-Stewart family.
Located on the grounds of the expansive and idyllic Killarney National Park. Muckross House, and its 11,000-acre grounds, was donated to the Irish state in 1932.
Located on the grounds of the picturesque Muckross House and its impeccable gardens. Take a step back in time and see the Irish farming lifestyle of the 1930s and '40s. A time when the horse was responsible for much of the labour and the weather was the be all and end all in terms of production.
The Quiet Man Museum. A reproduction of the quaint thatched cottage from the John Wayne starring, John Ford directed movie of the same name. all costumes, artifacts and furnishings have been recreated in precise detail, to reflect the setting of the 1952 classic. Located in the picturesque village of Cong, County Mayo.