Legenderry study visit for Braniel group

MEMBERS of Braniel Community Association recently enjoyed an insightful study visit to some of the best known landmarks and historical sites in Londonderry.

Legenderry study visit for Braniel group

Braniel Community Association visiting the famous Walled City

Facilitated by the EU Peace III funded Building Relationships in Communities (bric) Programme, the day-long trip introduced members of the group to one of Europe’s best preserved walled settlements.

The group visited the historic walled city last Saturday where their first stop was at the Apprentice Boys of Derry Association & Memorial Hall. Here, they discovered the history of the building and events of the Siege of Londonderry of 1688 – 1689.

From here they made they made their way to the world famous Walls and walked in the footsteps of the thirteen Apprentice Boys who closed the city gates against the Jacobite forces of King James and held out for months before the siege was lifted.

Following lunch, the group took a trip to one of the city’s newest visitor attractions, the Peace Bridge. Opened in 2011, the structure unites both sides of the River Foyle through a unique ‘S’ design that links the Walled City to the new developments at Ebrington and St. Columb’s Park.

The trip was made possible by the bric Programme as part of its commitment to cultivating good relations in social housing areas in Northern Ireland. The initiative is a unique partnership between the Rural Development Council, Housing Executive and Tides Training and is currently operating in almost 90 locations across the province.

David Park, Chairperson of Braniel Community Association, said:

“Our visit to Londonderry gave us all a real insight into the history of the Walls and the events that have helped make them so famous throughout the world.

“We thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity to learn more about the city and the chance to see the new Peace Bridge which is helping make the whole city more accessible and bringing people together.

“On behalf of Braniel Community Association, I would like to thank the bric Programme for its continued support.”

Kerry McIvor, bric Programme Manager, said:

“Study visits like this help give communities a greater insight into our shared history and are crucial in improving social cohesion at grassroots levels.

“Improving and maintaining Good Relations is an integral component of the bric Programme and we are very excited to be able to support Braniel Community Association and the people it serves.

“Through our working partnership with the Housing Executive and Tides Training, the bric Programme is currently active across Northern Ireland and strives to enhance community relations, improve the environment of local areas, and benefit local residents.

Raj Thompson, Housing Executive Good Relations Officer, said:

“The Housing Executive is delighted to be associated with the bric Programme and welcome visits like this as they provide residents with real insights into historical events and personalities which have had major impacts on history.

“The bric Programme strives to improve community spirit by creating neighbourliness and inclusiveness in all aspects of community life. This is achieved by building relationships and understanding through packages specifically tailored to suit each group involved.”