As well as all the belting modified cars, Northern Ireland’s Dubshed is a symbol of unity

It’s been two years since Dubshed moved from its home at the King’s Hall in Belfast, to the much larger Eikon Complex near Lisburn, south of Belfast. To date, it’s a change that has been very much a positive one.

Asides from the significant increase in space, Dubshed’s new home is easier accessed by Volkswagen enthusiasts from all corners of the British Isles. More space, more cars, more activities.

Plus the organisers of Dubshed perfectly encompass the values which make the Volkswagen community so impressive. That is, they’re a friendly, open-minded group of enthusiasts who don’t believe in elitism or any other such nonsense that plagues nearly every car community online. They very much live in the real world.

There’s none of the pettiness we’ve all seen in the comments on Facebook, no snide remarks or a feeling of superiority. They love what they love. It’s as simple as that. If someone loves something else, that’s great. It’s all about the love of cars.

This is also the second year where the largest Volkswagen scene show in Ireland has thrown its doors open to some very non-German cars. Previously, you could understand the presence of BMW and Mercedes as distant cousins of the widespread VW Group of cars. But the inclusion – and active pursuit – of the Japanese cars and their owners is the ultimate outreach to unite the whole car community on the island of Ireland.

It’s fitting then that the Eikon Complex is the former site of the infamous Maze Prison. What was once a symbol of the division of Ireland, is now somewhere people from both sides of the border come together to celebrate their love of cars.

It’s difficult not to appreciate and applaud that level of progress.

Words and photos Paddy McGrath