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Reconciliation Through The Riverine

on .

Developing Cross-Community and Cross-Border Relationships in Strabane/Lifford and its Hinterlands

 

Riverine_Showcase-1Local residents and community representatives recently came together at the Alley Theatre in Strabane to celebrate the valuable work carried out by the Reconciliation through the Riverine project. The event provided a timely opportunity to showcase the achievements of participants of the Youth and Community elements of the project, which is funded by the International Fund for Ireland through its ‘Leaving a Legacy’ programme.

 

The Reconciliation through the Riverine project seeks to address the impact of the conflict on the Strabane/Lifford area and its hinterlands through a dedicated programme of reconciliation addressing issues such as sectarianism, promoting equality and embracing diversity. Over the last two years, it has focused on both youth and wider community participation.

 

The youth participation strand is aimed at addressing sectarianism by strengthening relationships between young people from different communities and across the border. The wider community participation strand is aimed at delivering a range of ongoing community-based projects that will build positive relations at a cross-community and cross-border level.

 

Yesterday’s event included highlights from a diverse range of initiatives undertaken as part of the youth and community strands, including projects focusing on capacity-building activity and programmes involving drama, history and sports.

 

Highlights included the project’s involvement in recent major cultural programmes such as the annual Flann O'Brien LiteraryFestival earlier this month and the ‘Gathering of The Gales’ in September which saw hundreds of musicians from Lifford, Strabane and further afield come together with some of Ireland’s finest bands and performers to celebrate their musical heritage.   

 

Speaking at the event, Dorothy Clarke, Board Member of the International Fund for Ireland, said that the work carried out under the ‘Reconciliation through the Riverine project’ is a powerful example of what can be achieved when communities come together with the aim of fostering greater cross-community ties and promoting reconciliation.

 

“The Fund is committed to the work of building positive relations between the two main communities on the island of Ireland,” said Ms Clarke. “This project has had a very positive impact for reconciliation in the wider Strabane/Lifford area through a wide range of community-based initiatives. By bringing people together through a range of programmes, the project has encouraged greater understanding and helped participants build new friendships with others from different backgrounds.”

 

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.

 

Eamonn Browne, Project Coordinator, said:  “The collaborative work undertaken by the wider communities from Strabane and Lifford has made such a positive impact in this area with the community and youth participation elements having not just a local impact but also regional and national.”

Mr Browne added: “The success of the Flann O’Brien Festival, The Gathering of the Gales and the Scouts programmes – to name but a few – have clearly demonstrated the new confidence the International Fund for Ireland project has brought to the Strabane and Lifford area. This all bodes well for the future and the legacy for the International Fund for Ireland will be the continued building on these foundations by everyone involved.”

 

Click here to download press release