Early Years Members join Good Relations Week 2020 Celebrations – Jolly Rodgers Day Nursery

Early years practitioners, children and parents from Jolly Rodgers Day Nursery in Lisburn, recently benefited from the engagement in the evidence-based Media Initiative for Children (MIFC) Respecting Difference Programme.

This was delivered by Early Years – the organisation for young children and funded through the Community Relations Council, who aim to promote a peaceful and shared society based on reconciliation and mutual trust.

The Swanzy Riots, 1920 – Online Exhibition

‘The Swanzy Riots, 1920’ details events in Lisburn following the assassination of R.I.C. District Inspector Oswald Ross Swanzy in Market Square. The murder, by members of the Cork and Belfast I.R.A., led to two nights and three days of vicious rioting, looting and burning, largely aimed at the town’s Catholic community.

Using photographs, artefacts, videos, books and uniforms, this exhibition told the story of a significant – but not well known – event in Lisburn’s rich history, and its part in the wider story of the War of Independence (1919-1922).

PeacePlayers – Celebrating Peace Building and Community Relations Through Sport

This video tells the story of AJ and Rachel, two female PeacePlayers participants from Northern Ireland. Both girls, now 19, grew up on either side of an interface, a so-called peace line, in north Belfast. They first met over 10 years ago as participants in PeacePlayers primary school twinning programme.

AJ attended Wheatfield, a predominantly Protestant primary school and Rachel, Holy Cross Girls a Catholic primary school. Back in 2001 these two schools made international headlines for all the wrong reasons. Due to tensions in the area, parents and their children who attended these schools got caught up in an ugly sectarian stand off.

In the video AJ and Rachel describe how their PeacePlayers journey has helped them to develop and strong and genuine cross community friendship. A friendship that is so strong that it feels like “missing an arm” when the other is not around. The video also shows how, inspired by their PeacePlayers experience, both girls now employed as PeacePlayers sessional coaches are committed to giving back and to making their contribution to peace-building and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and beyond.

They pose an important challenge to our leaders requesting that efforts be made to remove the institutional barriers in education, housing and politics, which continue to serve as barriers limiting further progress. Whilst the physical peace-lines in Belfast remain, the AJ and Rachel story shows how the power of sport has and continues to help to remove the barriers that exist in people heads.

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