If left unresolved, issues arising from the past will drag us back whether the majority of people want it or not. Different perspectives on what happened in the past will continue to poison political and community relations and issues such as identity, parity of esteem, flags and emblems and parades are likely to remain divisive. Victims/survivors and their families will rightly persist in their efforts to recover the truth and others will not stop until they believe they have got justice. All these factors combined with the absence of a more comprehensive truth recovery process hinders the processing of trauma and we know that if trauma is not processed in this generation, it will resurface in the next and subsequent generations with potentially very negative consequences.
Through dialogue workshops, usually residential, the Political and Community Dialogue Programme aims:
1) To build new understandings and relationships between community groups, influencers, political parties, and policy makers from across the island over the divisive issues of the past and culture and identity.
2) To engage southern and northern political parties in a dialogue with victims/survivors, former members of the security forces and former paramilitary combatants and explore with them practical and sustainable ways of working with issues of the past.
3) Supporting the reaching of agreements on the architecture required to work through the legacy of the past issues that is acceptable to all key stakeholders and supporting the implementation of any agreement that is reached.
Our dialogue approach allows for genuine and sustained engagement between different groupings and in part helps address the serious disconnect between politics and society.
How we are qualified to address this issue:
Glencree has a long track record in running successful political dialogue workshops at Track II level. Since 1994 it has run over 75 political dialogue workshops which brought together politicians, aspiring politicians and community interests from different traditions in the north and south of Ireland to talk in a confidential space. Glencree was and is still seen as safe and acceptable and the environment created was often cited by participants as contributing to creative and ‘outside the box’ thinking as well as the building of improbable relationships.