Turas” meaning journey or pilgrimage in both Irish Gaelige and Scots Gàidhlig is an Irish language project which aims to connect people from Protestant communities to their own history with the Irish language. Turas is based on the belief that the language belongs to everyone and that it can be a mechanism of reconciliation. 

Ivor's Story 

Ivor was probably what can be described as a reluctant learner, as he says himself, he only only came to a class because he was invited. However he was surprised to discover that he enjoyed learning Irish, it was good fun. Before venturing into Turas, Ivor had no idea that the language was all around him. When Ivor opened the door of that classroom he opened the door into a whole new world. 
Turas Merchandise 
 
Support the vital work of Turas and treat yourself or your loved ones to our beautiful range of gifts, mugs, maps and booklets! 

Order Our Limited Edition Grá Mugs! 

Bus Tours  
 
If you would like to join us on one of our historical Bus Tours, which take place regularily, please click here, or for more information contact us on 028 9045 8560 
 
 
This is a bus tour will transport you to the ancient townlands once ruled by the Gaelic lord Conn O'Neill. Accompanied by a local tour guide you’ll travel back in time, and experience the dramatic arc of Conn O’Neill’s life, as his story unfolds in the landscape where he rose and fell. 
 
As your tour guide weaves together history and folklore in the telling of Conn O’Neill’s story, you’ll visit these locations: You’ll see the site of his inauguration, where he rose to power, and learn about the curious customs of a ceremony linked to a pagan past. 
 
You’ll visit the site, high in the Castlereagh hills, where the O’Neill stronghold once stood, see a panoramic view of Conn’s townlands, and hear the tragic tale of his downfall. You’ll walk the footbridge used by Conn and his men to cross the Connswater River, when they travelled from the coast up to his hilltop castle. You’ll visit the overgrown garden which some believe is the location of Conn O’Neill’s final resting place, and perhaps, you’ll be inclined to pay your respects to “the auld King” as the tour ends. 
 
This tour uncovers a hidden Gaelic history of East Belfast, from the ill-starred Irish lord Conn O’Neill to the family raised entirely in Irish on the Castlereagh Road in the 1950s. Hear about the native Irish-speaking Methodist preacher buried on the Newtownards Road, the secret meetings of Protestant Irish speakers at Mountpottinger and the activities of the Ballymacarrett, Bloomfield and Breda branches of the Gaelic League. Discover the Gaelic source of Glentoran and cross through the invisible boundaries of the old Gaelic lands of Ballyrushboy, ‘the yellow townland of the wood’, Knockagoney, ‘the hill of the rabbits’ and Lisnasharragh, ‘fort of the foals’. 
 
Visit the East Belfast that you never knew existed! 

Hertitage Sessions 

Turas provides workshops and talks on the historic links between Protestants and the Irish language, as well as discussions around the relevance of the language in present-day society. The project also facilitates periodic talks on a range of other topics related to language and culture. For details, please contact Linda. 
 
Turas project leader Linda Ervine can be contacted below 

 RECENT NEWS  

Irish Speaking Soldiers of the Great War- Gaeilgeoirí an Chogaidh Mhór as Oirthear Bhéal Feirste 
 
With funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Cairde Turas researched Irish-speaking soldiers from east Belfast who fought in World War 1. A team of volunteers identified 74 soldiers based on the 1911 Census and Jason Burke’s database of the Great War. The soldiers were from inner east Belfast. 
 
They lived in the working class communities around Ballymacarrett and worked in the local shipyards and factories. They included groups of brothers, fathers and sons, workmates and neighbours. Some died in the war, amongst those who returned home were many who were very badly injured. 
 
Their stories are a poignant account of the lives of young working class men and an insight into the linguistic diversity of east Belfast before the Great War. 
 
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