Come and discover the life and times of James Connolly in the heart of West Belfast as if you were alongside the man himself in Belfast’s first augmented reality trail.
The James Connolly Centre, or Áras Uí Chonghaile in Irish, is “Belfast’s newest visitor attraction celebrating the life and work of James Connolly”. Nestled in the heart of West Belfast, the Centre is only metres from where Connolly himself once resided in the city.
The Centre is the first of its kind to honour the Scotsman. President Michael D Higgins officially opened the Centre in April 2019 in front of a celebratory crowd eager to enmesh themselves in the works and writings of the great Proclamation signatory.
And the Centre continues to make history, for it has initiated Belfast’s first augmented reality trail. Tours are now available to book to join Connolly as he worked, campaigned, fought, and died for his ideals.
The James Connolly Heritage Trail – walk in Connolly’s footsteps
The ‘Turas Oidhreachta’, or the ‘Heritage Trail’, is the first of its kind in the city of Belfast. As the Aras Ui Chonghaile website states, this allows you to “uncover the hidden heritage of James Connolly.”
The trail at the James Connolly Centre is supported by Augmented Reality. It “takes you on a tour of the city, stopping at some of the most historically significant sites associated with James Connolly”.
On top of this, you will get an insight into the history of Belfast’s political, industrial, feminist, and working-class history. Plus, an interesting look into Belfast’s role in shaping modern Ireland.
How to interact – make sure to download the app
The James Connolly Centre has teamed up with this year’s Féile an Phobail, Ireland’s biggest community arts festival, to offer a guided tour to complement the Augmented Reality experience.
Tours are now available to book between 5 and 15 August 2021. You must book in advance to ensure that you’ve secured your place on this fascinating trail.
To book, don’t forget to download the ‘James Connolly Trail’ app, which you can find in your app store. Once you have this downloaded, you can begin your experience.
Address: 374 Falls Rd, Belfast, BT12 6DG
The James Connolly Visitor Centre – learn about the man and his works
Once you have completed the augmented trail, why not take a look into the James Connolly Centre itself? Recoup yourself with a coffee and some food in the tasty and new-look James’ Café.
Then, embark on the ‘James Connolly Experience’. Here, you will learn about the story of Connolly from his birth in Edinburgh in 1868 through to his death in Dublin in 1916 after the Easter Rising.
The exhibition is free for Belfast residents. Alternatively, adult tickets cost £7 or £5 for members and concessions for children, seniors, unwaged, or trade union members.
A family booking of two adults and two children or one adult and three children will cost you only £15.
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