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Published on:  26 Nov 2013

Bringing Communities Together in Glengad and Surrounding Areas


On Saturday 16th November, participants of the Heritage Revival Project “Maritime Matters” came together with local community representatives to celebrate the launch of the first of two drontheim boats constructed as part of a cross-border, cross-community initiative.


Funded by the International Fund for Ireland, the project aims to encourage greater cross-community collaboration between people from both traditions in Glengad and the surrounding border area, including Derry/Londonderry, Letterkenny and North Belfast. The project has boat-building as its main theme and includes other sub-themes such as cooking, storytelling, traditional music, arts and crafts and water based maritime activity.


Each element of the programme involves an aspect of intergenerational activity with a view to bridging the gap between generations, helping to foster a greater understanding among younger participants of the traditions that have shaped their communities and the impact that past conflicts have had.


Speaking at the event, Paul Murphy, project co-ordinator said: “Today is a very special day for the community of Glengad as we officially launch the first boat constructed as part of the “Maritime Matters” project.  Today’s launch is of enormous importance to our communities and is a powerful symbol of how much we can achieve through close collaboration. It is a great feeling to stand here today and witness the vision of our ambitious project become a reality.”


“May I take this opportunity to thank all those involved in supporting us on this journey and in particular the support we received from the International Fund for Ireland, which was of major significance in bringing this project to fruition. The project has brought together young and older generations from both traditions to forge lasting links. In the process new friendships have been created and cross-community relationships strengthened with experiences shared. One example of this is the open door policy we have with all groups allowing visitors to come and experience the techniques of building boats.”


Dr. Adrian Johnston, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland said: “The Fund is committed to the long-term task of breaking down traditional barriers in order to help build positive relations between the two main communities on the island of Ireland. That is why we are proud to be associated with the Heritage Revival Project. We believe that, by helping to develop closer links between both traditions, the project will have a very positive impact for reconciliation.”


“The boat here today is very symbolic of the Peace process. It is a fine example of what can be achieved when we work together and share our experiences and traditions. And the work can’t stop when the boat is built, as everyone knows that has ever rowed a boat, we must continue to pull together so that our boat can have a smooth journey in the future. Similarly with the peace process we must continue to pull together to ensure that the benefits of today’s peace are experienced by everyone.”


Dr Johnston 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.

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