THE community relations programmes which have been ongoing between Clann Eireann Youth Club and Lurgan Youth Annexe over the past 12 months came to a conclusion with a recent celebration night at the Discovery Centre Oxford Island.
The evening saw 43 young people and their respective project workers join around 100 invited guests including parents and representatives from all the local statutory agencies and political parties.
Invited guests were greeted by Councillor Carla Lockhart, Mayor of Craigavon as well as Ms Jenifer Wheelan, department director of Peace and Reconciliation Fund DFA Dublin (the programmes main sponsor), Minister for Education, John O’Dowd MLA, was also in attendance and guest speaker was Professor Pete Shirlow, from the School of Law at Quuen’s University.
All contributions from all speakers on the night congratulated the young people on their achievements.
An edited version of a DVD which was launched on the night was shown and formally launched by J Wheelan, from the DFA, which gave those in attendance an insight into the tremendous work which had been undertaken.
Pete Shirlow praised the young people for their willingness to engage with one another in a respectful way and to celebrate difference and diversity reminding us all of our shared history.
The importance of programmes such as this should not be under estimated to both there respective communities in north and south Lurgan.
Minister O’ Dowd was kind enough to formally congratulate the group and presented those in attendance with programme certificates.
It was evident from speaking to all of those in attendance the support for such programmes which attempt to deal with sectarianism and prejudice.
The project staff thank all of those involved in the projects, not least the young people themselves, and their respective parents. It is hoped that both Clann Eireann Youth Club and Lurgan Youth Annexe will continue to build good relationships.”