Glencree has learnt that transforming violent conflict and building peace requires the building of improbable relationships through engagement in inclusive processes of dialogue and shared learning. Glencree seeks to include all without judgement and does not take sides or promote solutions but rather, through the creation of a safe space, acts as an impartial facilitator to aid others to find their own solutions to violent conflict and building lasting peace.

Glencree continues to work on the island of Ireland focusing on the remaining difficult legacy issues of our own violent past and to build the conditions to forever secure a lasting peace. Glencree also works internationally sharing our experiences from the Irish Peace Process to help others transform their own violent conflicts.

Island of Ireland

Increasing confidence and securing greater involvement and influence of women as leaders in peace and reconciliation work through a three tiered interconnected programme of empowerment and learning, leadership, and advanced leadership. At each stage participants are supported to play a positive role for peace in their lives but for ever wider circles of influence as they work their way through the tiers.

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Through working with schools, youth and third level institutions Glencree is fostering the emergence of a network of young leaders across the island who are actively contributing to dealing with the legacy of violence and creating a better future.

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In 2015 Glencree has started a new programme of storytelling and dialogue for victims/survivors and former combatants focusing primarily on groups and individuals that have to date had limited engagement with ‘others’.

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Unresolved legacy issues from our violent past will drag us back. Different perspectives on the past and how to ‘deal’ with it continue to poison relations and exacerbate disputes over culture and identity. Glencree brings together policy makers and community groups to discuss these legacy issues and how best to deal with them.

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This programme seeks to build on Glencree’s experience in providing opportunities for people from divided communities to listen to the experience of ‘the other’, reduce prejudice, and develop constructive connection and collaboration.

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Glencree believes that an all-island approach to transforming our conflict and building peace is vital. With interest in Northern Ireland at its lowest point for many years, there is a danger of Northern Ireland being ignored again in the Republic to the detriment of the future well-being of the whole island.

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Glencree is working with and helping to develop an international network comprised of peace centres, the diplomatic community, UN institutions and faith leaders to address religiously motivated violence that is on the increase around the World today.

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Previous Work

This project was a partnership between The Donegal Peace Centre at An Teach Bán, The Corrymeela Community, Cooperation Ireland and the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation. We aimed to strengthen the peace and embed reconciliation with a joint regional project that included training, learning, interface and interfaith dialogues and creating outreach work.

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This programme helped consolidate the peace process by providing an inclusive forum within which current and former military and paramilitary participants could meet, exchange views, build relationships and address issues.

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All political parties from Ireland, North and South, and the main parties from Britain participated in inclusive and multilateral dialogue workshops. Glencree provided the space where politicians could discuss and negotiate an accord to find a political way out of conflict and where they could lead their constituencies towards peace. Its aim was to bring all the parties in the conflict together over a period of time but not necessarily in each workshop.

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Brought together survivors from the two communities in Northern Ireland, and from the Republic of Ireland and Britain to engage in dialogue to help build relationships between individuals and their communities. The programme also created space for dialogue between survivors and those who have been actively engaged in the violence of the conflict.

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This project was a partnership between INCORE at the University of Ulster, Intercomm, the Peace and Reconciliation Group and the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation. The overall aim of the Journeys Out project was to advance a ‘bottom-up’ approach to dealing with the past in NI and the Border Region.

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International

Glencree’s international work focuses on three areas:
Glencree is working with and helping to develop an international network comprised of peace centres, the diplomatic community, UN institutions and faith leaders to address religiously motivated violence that is on the increase around the World today.

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After successful work in Haiti, Afghanistan and Colombia Glencree is developing further partnerships with humanitarian and development NGOs to ensure a joined up approach to tackling poverty, inequality and violent conflict in fragile states.
As part of sharing our experiences from the Irish Peace Process Glencree facilitates visits to Ireland and Northern Ireland for groups from other conflicts to learn lessons that may help them to transform their own violent conflicts.

Previous Work

In partnership with Concern Worldwide, with other local actors, KDSM and Jilap, Glencree contributed to reducing levels of violence in a particular slum area of Port au Prince called St Martin. The 70,000 residents suffered extreme deprivation and Concern worked to alleviate this poverty. This initiative reflected the linkage between poverty and violent conflict and is provided capacity building opportunities for community activists from St Martin as well as wider Haitian Society to empower them to manage conflict without violence. The goals of poverty alleviation and peacebuilding were combined in a creative and innovative way in training sessions both in Haiti, and with groups brought to Ireland. A local physical safe space for the gangs and other stakeholders in St. Martin was one of the practical outcomes of the project.

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Glencree has worked with local educators to develop and implement a new course on Peace Education that is an obligatory part of third level education. In partnership with the Universities, we developed Peace Education Resources based on Glencree’s experience and materials, but that are tailored to the local context. We have also conducted training on how to use these resources with educators from third level institutions. In addition, we worked with the Afghan Women Skills and Development Centre (AWSDC) a local NGO that offers refuge to women under threat of violence.

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With the very active support of the Irish Government, Glencree initiated a dialogue programme with senior Israeli and Palestinian politicians and officials. The dialogue was ongoing and the Irish peace process served as a useful example to participants although it is well recognised that our conflicts have very different dynamics.

Click here for Glencree-sponsored report.

On 20 January 2010 twelve members of The Parents’ Circle Family Forum, six Israelis and six Palestinians, travelled from the Middle East to participate in Residential Workshops at Glencree and Belfast.
Additionally, we have engaged in some work in Sri Lanka, Colombia and Liberia.

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Hosted two delegations of civil society, political actors and government officials who had engagement with the Nepali Peace Process and wanted to learn from some aspects of the Irish Peace Process.
A partnership with An Garda Siochana that provided Human Rights-based Policy Training to the LTTE Police Service. Two meetings were hosted with the LTTE political wing as they considered responses to the proposals made by the Government of Sri-Lanka. (2000-2004).
Glencree partnered with Trocaire to provide capacity-building programmes to strengthen the ability of civil society groups to manage and resolve local level conflict (1999-2002).
Responding to a request from the DFA, Glencree sent a team to Liberia. We conducted workshops with the commissioners on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission during the first phases of the TRC’s operations. We used interactive methodology to help the commissioners to agree on a definition of reconciliation that would underpin the efforts of the TRC.
In partnership with PACTA, a Finnish peacebuilding NGO, Glencree facilitated a small delegation of Unionist and Republican politicians and activists to share experience with Thai Government Officials, Politicians, peacebuilding institutes, and civil society actors from Southern Provinces in Thailand.
In partnership with the Democratic Process Institute, Glencree hosted two groups of key stakeholders from Turkey who were directly engaged with the Kurdish Conflict. After a number of single identity events, a fully-inclusive event was hosted where all stakeholder groups were represented.
Glencree hosted and supported representatives of stakeholder groups from Moldova and Transnistria as part of the contribution of Ireland during its presidency of the OSCE.

International Programme staff were regularly invited to address audiences both in Ireland, North and South, and also internationally. These events are too numerous to list but were important opportunities to strengthen the work of our partners in the field and created enabling opportunities to advance our work.