Building better community links


Newtownabbey is supporting Community Relations Week 2014 and its theme ‘Building a United Community’ with events planned as part of some 170 happening across Northern Ireland from June 16 to 22.

Community Relations Week is organised by the Community Relations Council (CRC) and includes events run by local councils, public bodies, schools, and community and voluntary sector organisations.

Newtownabbey Borough Council has organised an exhibition and a workshop on the theme ‘Everyday Objects transformed by Conflict’. It takes place at the Museum at the Mill from Monday, June 16 to Friday 20, 10am to 9pm and brings together diverse views and experiences of the conflict in and around Northern Ireland.

The council working with Healing Through Remembering have organised a workshop ‘Ordinary Objects, Extraordinary Times’ which will takes place on Tuesday June 17 at 6.30pm, will tell the story of the everyday objects in the transformed by conflict exhibition. Objects like a bullet proof clipboard, prison communications written on toilet roll or the bin lid used as a communication system help us explore the past and understand the impact of conflict in Northern Ireland.

The week will begin with its flagship event, the Community Relations Council policy conference entitled ‘Finish the Job’ at at the 174 Trust, Duncairn Complex, Duncairn Avenue, Belfast on Monday June 16. It will consider how we might find ways to resolve the outstanding issues in the peace process. Contact Claire Fox at Newtownabbey Borough Council for more details on both events.

Jacqueline Irwin, CRC’s Chief Executive, says: “Building a united community is as urgent now as it was when the peace agreement was signed in 1998. We have plenty of examples of our capacity to slip back into animosity and old ways of thinking. There is no room for complacency.

“Community Relations Week is always an opportunity to showcase the great work that goes on quietly all year round to build and sustain relationships. It is a time to celebrate the ethnic and cultural diversity of our community and the many imaginative ways in which we are building a shared cultural region.

“We are grateful to everyone who is organising or attending events during the week. Your personal commitment to good community relations is changing this place. Your energy and enthusiasm is the fabric of our peace,” she adds.

A full listing of Community Relations Week events can be found at and printed programmes can be obtained from local libraries.