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GAA’s Oisin McConville speaks at ‘Border Life 2017’

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Participants of Diversity Youth Project, along with representatives from Louth Comhairle na nOg and Newry & Mourne Youth Council attended a conference ‘Border Life 2017’ held in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dundalk today. 

 

The conference marked the final event of the first year of a three-year youth diversity programme funded by the International Fund for Ireland under its Peace Impact Programme, delivered by Dundalk Youth Centre in Partnership with Tí Chulainn, Mullaghbawn. 

The aim of the conference was to help understand what life is like for a young person who lives along the border and to hear their issues and recommendations on how to deal with these issues.  Guest speaker at the conference was former GAA player Oisin McConville who spoke about his experience of growing up along the border as well as promoting positive mental wellbeing for young people.

The Youth Diversity Project is a cross border youth project developed by Dundalk Youth Centre in partnership with the Ti Chulainn Centre in South Armagh. The project aims to bring young people from 11-18 together to develop their skills knowledge and attitudes in the areas of Cultural Diversity and Leadership. To date the Project has engaged over 60 young people from four communities on both sides of the border.

Young people from Dundalk, Mullaghbawn, Creggan and Aughnagurgan meet up on joint projects to share their experiences of growing up in the border region and to develop a greater awareness of each other’s culture. Through this innovative and creative programme which is co-designed with young people, the project’s activities are both engaging and developmental.

Speaking at the conference Allen McAdam , IFI Board member, said that the Fund is committed to delivering real and positive transformation in communities through the Peace Impact Programme and we are delighted to support this wide-ranging cross-community, cross-border youth diversity project.

“The conference today marked the end of a very successful year of this youth diversity project.  The conversations and interaction of the young people at the conference today clearly illustrates the positive impact of this project and augurs well for the future.  Originally scheduled for a one-year period but due to the strong interest and participation of young people, the IFI was pleased to provide funding support to extend the project for a further two years to enable more young people get involved. I have no doubt that this project will leave a lasting positive legacy for the people in Dundalk and South Armagh and its environs.  I wish everyone involved in the project continued success in the years ahead”.

Mairead Hearty, Diversity Youth Co-Ordinator said: “The project underpins the Peace Process by ensuring young people are supported and provided with the tools to play a positive role in the development of their communities as inclusive to all.  The project is also building cohesion and community infrastructure across the border through the development of the partnership between Dundalk Youth Centre and Tí Chulainn.  We are all very grateful for the continued funding support from the IFI, without which we could not have undertaken the project.”