There’s a real temptation to just list all the countries represented at the tour but that would be setting a dangerous precedent for future recap pieces- rest assured it was a lot, 5 continents in attendance. This is the first in a series of short blogs that will outline what went on during our outings with Tour the City; a glimpse into our work for curious observers, or those looking to get involved themselves.
The weather encouraged a sizeable group of participants to come from various reception centres, predominantly the Balseskin and Hatch Hall residences. Thanks to the hospitality of Dublin Castle, we were allowed free entry to roam the halls and take in the former hub of English rule in Ireland. The troubled history of the Castle provided an ideal conversation starter, allowing volunteers and participants to recount our respective histories of British colonialism- who knew imperialism had a silver lining?
The hum of conversation is always the highlight of the tours and the ‘four seasons’ gardens were an idyllic setting for lunch. There were tour participants who hadn’t been in Ireland a week and the pristine garden, in such nice weather, could easily mislead anyone about the reality of life here. Then again, this is the essence of the project, to provide a momentary respite from the debilitating routine of life in direct-provision; brief moments of tranquillity should not be taken for granted.