Downpatrick Community Collective Head South On Historical Study Visit
Members of Downpatrick Community Collective stepped back in time recently on 1-2 MArch with a two day historical study visit to Drogheda and Dublin.
Facilitated by the EU PEACE III funded Building Relationships in Communities (bric) Programme, the group took in the sights and sounds of a variety of famous locations including the Battle of the Boyne Museum, Kilmainham Gaol, Phoenix Park and Parnell Square in Dublin.
The 17-strong delegation from Stream Street Residents Association, Flying Horse Ward Community Forum, Knocknashina Residents Association and Marian Park Community Association also visited Drogheda where they took a guided tour of the battlefield and visited a number of sites associated with the Siege of Drogheda and the Cromwellain Conquest of Ireland.
The groups plan to use the experiences and knowledge gained from the trip as they promote the importance of good relations and better understanding of the past within their own communities.
Dan McEvoy, Chairperson of Downpatrick Community Collective, said: “This trip has provided a real insight into some of the very important events, and the people involved in them, that have impacted on and shaped our local history over the years.
“What we have learned here has been invaluable and will be of great use to the Community Collective as we continue our work with the bric Programme and Housing Executive in the coming weeks and months. Our thanks are extended to bric for making this visit possible and their continued support.”
Kerry McIvor, bric Programme Manager, said: “Building Good Relations within local communities is central to the work of the bric Programme and we are very pleased to be able to support and work with Downpatrick Community Collective.
“Through our working partnership with the Housing Executive and Tides Training, the bric Programme is active in over 80 locations across Northern Ireland and works to enhance community relations, improve the environment of local areas, and benefit local residents.
“This is achieved through a range of initiatives including study visits, re-imaging projects, mentoring and family fun days.
Housing Executive Good Relations Officer Raj Thompson also added: “The Housing Executive is delighted to be associated with the bric Programme and welcome vists like this as they provide residents with real insights into historical events and personalities which have had major impacts on Northern Ireland’s history.
“The bric Programme strives to improve community spirit by creating neighbourliness and inclusiveness in all aspects of community life by building relationships and understanding through packages tailored to suit every group involved.”
The bric programme is delivered through three distinctive and complementary themes designed to put good relations at the heart of social housing.
The Special EU Programmes Body is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland and the Department of Finance in Ireland. It is responsible for managing two EU structural funds Programmes PEACE III and INTERREG IVA designed to enhance cross-border co-operation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society.