Paul Maskey counters the arguments against conflict tourism

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Following on from my last podcast in which Chris Jenkins and I discussed the morality or otherwise of building a tourism industry around the remnants of conflict, today I spoke to Paul Maskey, Sinn Fein’s MP and MLA for West Belfast.

Paul has frequently called for greater investment in what he dubs ‘political tourism’, particularly in his own constituency, citing the thousands of foreign visitors who already flock to Belfast in order to see the city’s murals.

Insisting that ‘political tourism’ can complement existing tourist attractions, namely the Titanic Signature project, Paul asserts that, far from entrenching divisions, a properly regulated tourism industry would compel communities to interact and would show how far the city has come.



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About Author

Matthew is a journalist based in Dungannon who blogs in his spare time. Educated at the Royal School Dungannon and the University of Cambridge, he recently completed his NCTJ Diploma at Belfast Metropolitan College. All views expressed in this column are those of Matthew alone.


  1. As the ‘Titanic’ tourism is already seriously waning it might be a good idea to go ‘on the run’ with our troubles tourism. We would certainly not be alone in this as most countries make money out of the existence of their war graves, cenotaphs and other memorials. We certainly cannot afford to be too choosy.

  2. Room 4 an Elephant? on

    Great article and I believe that our city can make so much more from this powerful desire in tourists to hear our story. However there is no show without Punch, and the tourist board must invite an ex member of the security forces to act as a guide alongwith ex loyalist and republican commentators on the tours. Also, the tourist board must regulate and sponsor only one tour operator and perhaps we can look at a six county themed tour, over say 2 days.
    I am sure the suggestion of an ex RUC or UDR guide has raised a few eyebrows over the morning Ulster Fry and a copy of the Newsletter, but it might be the catalyst…

  3. Well, of course Maskey would say that. He and the sinn fein
    project need a steady flow of foreigners to spread their lies, half-truths and
    propaganda to.  
    Even in the peace the sinn fein projects hands are all over this. This is terrorist tourism, not conflict tourism, lets call a spade a spade here. If this is to be encouraged it needs to come with the reassurance that the hole story is told, and not some sanitised shinner propaganda version. I speak form experience, I have been on the tour buses and have heard how the Loyalists were running amok and the poor defencless nationalists/republicans were forever victims. On a Crumlin road prison tour, much was made of the escape of IRA man and shinner Martin Meehan. No balance or indication of what he was in Crumlin road prison for.