The Annual General Meeting at Glencree which took place on 16th June 2016  gave members, Board, staff and visitors an opportunity to reflect on what Glencree had achieved in 2015 and an opportunity to hear  emerging priorities for the next ten years. The first Annual report in 10 years was launched and a record of our finances are now on the website. Annual Report 2015

These are:

  • The continued development of a sustainable peace on the Island of Ireland through addressing the legacy of the past
  • International work focusing on how our experience can support others to transform their own conflict
  • Work with Refugees which will be a first step to  broader more inclusive society work which will also involve inter-faith work
  • To develop Glencree as a centre for Restorative Practice
  • To improve the visitor peace experience at Glencree.

2015 was a ‘better’ year for Glencree, finances stabilised and helped us out of survival mode into a place where we could look to the future.  Good news arrived in advance of the AGM in the form of further funding from the Tony Ryan Trust, a further vote of confidence in Glencree’s work.

Chair of the Board, Barbara Walshe and CEO, Will Devas expressed their thanks to the staff on and off the site for their hard work and support especially in the preceding years when there was little employment stability and a great deal of uncertainty.

CEO, Will Devas spoke about our flagship event in 2015 when we heard  recognition of Glencree’s work by President Michael D Higgins when he said “the contribution that Glencree has made to reconciliation and the building of positive relationships, across the island and beyond, is immense and well recognised’

Financial support from the Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade enabled us to continue our island of island work, support from the Office of Public Works made it possible to do our work from a beautiful and quiet location and our funding from the Tony Ryan Trust enabled us to grow a little.  Members and friends continue to contribute to Glencree’s sustainability and we hope to grow the membership in the years to come.

Alan Gilsenan, one of Ireland’s best known and respected film makers is making a film for Glencree, giving his time and expertise pro bono, Alan was present to catch and record some of the conversations during discussion time.

The discussion between members, staff and visitors focused on the need to respond to the Refugee crisis and to address violence in Ireland today. Many expressed despair at the lack of public discussion and dialogue on issues of importance, discussion often being replaced by  a rhetoric that is often both vicious, polarising and adversarial.

News filtered through during the discussion that public representative Jo Cox had been shot dead in the UK in the middle of a very polarising debate on whether or not the UK will remain or leave in the EU. Glencree expresses its deepest sympathy to her husband Brendan and two children and regrets the loss of a hardworking and passionate young woman and advocate for human rights.

Members spoke of the need to engage the international volunteer cohort which spent time at Glencree and also highlighted the need to record Glencree’s way of ‘doing dialogue’ which could be very useful in today’s world.

Concern was also expressed that today’s generation of young people have been moulded and influenced by sectarianism and emphasised the need to help them critically analyse what and why the conflict happened in an effort to ensure that it will not be repeated. There was a sense that it could easily happen again.

Read our Annual Report 2015