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Cross Community Work Celebrates the life of Cassandra Hand

on .

Moving Forward through Reconciliation - Honouring the Past

 

IMG_1On Saturday 12th October, local residents and community representatives joined together to celebrate the life and work of Cassandra Hand (1809 – 1868) and her contribution to famine relief in Clones and surrounding area. The event included the rededication by the Rt. Rev. John McDowell, Bishop of Clogher, of the grave of Cassandra Hand and her husband, the Rev. Thomas Hand.

 

The rededication, which took place in Clogh near Roslea, Co. Fermanagh, recognised the important work done by Cassandra Hand in introducing the craft of Clones lace/Irish crochet as a Famine relief scheme in 1847. The legacy of Cassandra Hand lives on today with many local women carrying on the lace making craft handed down through the generations. 

 

Saturday’s event formed part of a programme of community engagement carried out by Clones Community Forum through its ‘Moving Forward – Honouring the Past’ project. The project works to promote contact, dialogue and reconciliation between communities from both traditions in Clones town and the wider Clones catchment area through talks, peace-themed events and workshops. The project is funded by the International Fund for Ireland as part of its Community Based Economic and Social Regeneration Programme.

 

The ceremony included project participants from both sides of the border including Clogh, Kileevan, Clones, Newtownbutler, Lisnaskea and Derrylin. Work on peace prayer flags and restoration of the grave was undertaken by Clones Community Forum in collaboration with Clogh Select Vestry, the Women of the Erne East Area/Lisnaskea and Clones Poor Law Union.

 

Dorothy Clarke, Board Member of the International Fund for Ireland, said it was very fitting to recognise the work done by Cassandra Hand, who provided relief to the local community that transcended religious differences at a time of severe economic difficulty.

 

Ms Clarke said: “The Fund is committed to the long-term task of breaking down traditional barriers and helping to build positive relations and contact between the two main communities on the island of Ireland. We are proud to be associated with the valuable work being carried out by Clones Community Forum, helping to build a shared future for communities in the region who suffered greatly as a consequence of the Troubles.”

 

Ms Clarke also expressed a collective thanks to the international donors who have supported the work of the International Fund for Ireland for more than twenty-five years: namely, the United States of America, the European Union, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

 

Kathleen Cassidy, project manager said: “On behalf of everyone involved in this project, I would like to acknowledge the generous support we’ve received from the International Fund for Ireland for this important reconciliation initiative. The project has been a great success by bringing people from both traditions together and fostering greater interaction among communities in Clones and its natural hinterland in Northern Ireland. We believe this work will continue to have a very positive impact for reconciliation and promoting greater cross-community links in the years to come.”

 

Click here to download Press Release