Carntogher and Kilcronaghan Celebrate Launch of 'Reconciling Communities' Project
05 July 2011
The communities of Carntogher and Kilcronaghan (in County Derry/Londonderry) celebrated the launch of the Reconciling Communities Project on Monday 4th July 2011. The project is partly funded by the International Fund for Ireland.
This new project is delivering a programme of joint activities designed to break down misconceptions, and promote dialogue and understanding between the two communities. Planned activities include music and dance workshops, study trips, discussion workshops, heritage walks and social events.
The main aim of the project is to bring people from both communities together to share experiences and develop an improved understanding of each other’s cultures and backgrounds.
International Fund for Ireland Board Member, Anne Henderson, said: “This cross-community project is a very good example of the Fund’s peace building and reconciliation strategy at work. The two rural communities - Carntogher and Kilcronaghan - have much in common but they have been living alongside one another without knowing one another.
“Grass roots projects like this, working with young people in our society, are vital if we are to bring about real and lasting positive change in our communities. By focusing on common interests young Unionists and Nationalists will have the opportunity to share experiences in each others communities, gain a better understanding of each others cultures and history and hopefully grow friendships which can lead to a more peaceful future.”
Niall O’Kane, Chairperson of Carntogher Community Association, said: “We are delighted to be launching the Reconciling Communities Project here today at Kicronaghan Activity Centre. We feel through our previous partnership work that the foundations have been laid to enable us to take the next steps to building better relations between our two rural communities.”
Wesley Tomb, Chairperson of Kilcronaghan Community Association, said: “Despite our similarities, the communities still remain very separate in everyday life. However, we hope that this project will be the means of making a change for the better. We have already received some great positive feedback within the initial planning workshops that have taken place and both groups are committed to the process and ready to embark on the journey towards reconciliation and building a better and more stable future for our younger generation.”