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Cross-Community Project Marks Closure with Celebration

on .

A cross-community relations project which helped build a better and shared future for communities living along the southern shores of Lough Neagh celebrated three successful years this evening [15th November 2013] with an international cultural and musical event at Discovery Centre, Oxford Island, Lurgan Craigavon.

SLNRA_01South Lough Neagh Regeneration Association organised the event in celebration of its successful Good Relations Project. The Project received £200,000 from the International Fund for Ireland through its Community Bridges Programme towards the £300,000 overall cost.

 

Master of Ceremonies was Downtown Radio presenter, singer, songwriter and ambassador for peace and understanding Tommy Sands. He was joined by two guest speakers - David Graham OBE, International Fund for Ireland board member and Susan McKay, author, editor and award-winning journalist.

Entertainment was provided by Bernagh – a highly talented and professional group of singers and musicians playing a diverse collection selection of international cultural music and songs. Joining them on stage were professional Irish and Highland dancers, talented local school children and a local marching band.  

Over the three years South Lough Neagh Regeneration ran a large number of events, training and study visits which contributed to building sustainable communities by raising awareness of community relations issues, developing relationships, understanding cultural and political identity and that of others. The project was overseen on behalf of the Fund by the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council.

International Fund for Ireland board member David Graham said: “Ground breaking projects which develop community relations and reconciliation such as this are at the forefront of the International Fund for Ireland’s work. The Good Relations Project effectively used the funding it received from the International Fund for Ireland  by showing and educating local communities on how sharing resources and  across divides can contribute significantly to reconciliation and a peaceful future for all. It now leaves behind a legacy for generations to come and on behalf of the International Fund for Ireland I wish everyone involved every success in the future.”

South Lough Neagh Regeneration Association Chairperson Jacinta Cusack said: “South Lough Neagh Regeneration Association has worked tirelessly for the past three years as a vehicle for the Good Relations Programme. Overcoming prejudices and intolerance is not an easy task, but we have tackled it with gusto and I feel that we have come a long way in that short time. This Programme touched a huge number of people not only in the Craigavon Borough Council area but across neighbouring council areas as well as north and south of the border. We are grateful for the support received from all the communities who participated in the Good Relations Programme and also for the support from our funders.”

 

Click here to download press release