Shared housing and integrated education: Building good community relations

Shared housing and integrated education: Building good community relations by Allan LEONARD 7 August 2019 A panel discussion on how shared housing projects and the integrated education movement are contributing towards good community relations was held at St Mary’s College, Belfast, as part of the Feile Festival. The panellists were Deborah Howe (Equality Commission), Christine Davis (Housing Executive), Grainne Mullin (Radius Housing), and Jill Caskey (Integrated Education Fund). The event was chaired by Gerry McConville. After a welcome by Jessica …

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‘If we tell people the cost of segregation, they will support greater integration’

If people are told the financial cost of segregation and service duplication, there will be much greater support for social integration, says community worker Maureen Hetherington.  Maureen is director of The Junction community and peace-building centre in Derry-Londonderry and was interviewed in the latest ‘Forward Together’ podcast. “I have no doubt that integrated education is absolutely fundamental to getting people to know each other, to engage with each other,” stresses Maureen. “The difficulty there is that we don’t have the …

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Education: We all have a role to play

Education: We all have a role to play by Allan LEONARD 7 February 2019 The Integrated Education Fund hosted a day conference on some aspects of education in Northern Ireland, with a discussion on what role individuals, local communities, and organisations can play in realising a better vision. Contributors included: Baroness May Blood (Integrated Education Fund (IEF)), Dirk Schubotz (Queen’s University Belfast), Mairead McCafferty (Northern Ireland Commission for Children and Youth (NICCY)), Eileen Chan-Hu (CRAIC NI), Maire Thompson (Hazlewood Integrated …

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Soapbox: Leadership that can join the dots even if others cannot

Peter Osborne has been involved in good relations, cohesion, community enablement and political engagement for over 20 years. He chairs the Community Relations Council and the regional board of Remembering Srebrenica. You can follow him on @OsborneTweets. There is no inevitable forward flow to the peace process. It is work in progress that needs careful nurturing. It cannot be taken for granted. We must make progress when we can, consolidate when needed and hunker down when things get bleak. The …

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A Lagan College birthday: The story of integrated education in Northern Ireland

A Lagan College birthday: The story of integrated education in Northern Ireland
by Allan LEONARD for Northern Ireland Foundation
11 November 2016

Just past the reception desk is a small, black-and-white photography of the simple and utilitarian building that housed the first enrolment of students at Lagan College in 1981; today, celebrating its 35th birthday, the impressive expanse is testimony to the successful development of not only this school, but of integrated education in Northern Ireland.

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The prevailing wisdom of A Love Divided

Based on a true story, “A Love Divided” chronicles the aftermath of a mixed marriage in Co. Wexford, Ireland, where Protestant-raised Sheila refuses to send her children to a local Catholic school. She flees with her two young girls, leaving her husband Sean confused and frustrated. “A Love Divided” was shown at Culturlann, as part of the Belfast Film Festival and organised in collaboration with Pieces of the Past oral history project. Sheila signed the Ne Temere contract, which obligated …

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…a long-standing focus for Catholic discontent.

There is an element of Groundhog Day in the sudden outburst of debate on education and integration/segregation. Despite Brian’s claim that Catholic schools were fully funded in the 1970s (see point 10 in his list), that didn’t occur until November 1992 when it was announced that: In a historical deal agreed between the Catholic bishops and the Department [of Education], Catholic schools will now be entitled to 100 percent financial support for new buildings. Hitherto they had to meet 15 per cent of …

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