Celebrating Glencree Peace IV-funded Legacy of Violence Programme


Glencree Hosts Celebration of PEACE IV-funded ‘Legacy of Violence’ Programme

5/7/22: On Friday 1st July 2022, the Glencree Legacy of Violence team celebrated the achievements of the Peace IV-funded ‘Addressing the Legacy of Violence through Facilitated Dialogue’ programme over the past five years. Hosted at the Glencree Centre in Co. Wicklow and with guests also joining virtually, the event featured programme participants and representatives from the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), The Executive Office, Northern Ireland, and the Department of Rural and Community Development.

During the event, the Glencree team, led by CEO Naoimh McNamee, spoke of the work with 4 victims & survivors groups encompassing 178 group members, 1,229 participants and 2,360 engagements across the 5 years of the legacy project. Speakers including Gareth Johnston, Deputy Secretary for Good Relations & Inclusion at the N.I. Executive Office and Gina McIntyre, Chief Executive, SEUPB, reiterated the importance of the project in ensuring the needs of victims and survivors are being met, in providing a space to come together and be heard and have their pain acknowledged, and of the importance of sharing learnings from these dialogues on a national and International basis.

Also speaking at the event, Glencree Legacy of Violence Programme Manager, Roisin McGlone, said: “This closure event is a celebration of the groups and participants on this unique and ground-breaking programme. We want to first and foremost thank all of those group members who gave so generously of their time and commitment. Engagement in this project took much courage on their part and was both challenging and risk-taking.” Glencree Chair, Barbara Walshe also spoke of Glencree's past work with victims and survivors and in particular the LIVE Programme (Let's Involve the Victim's Experience'), which started in Glencree in 1998 and ran for 10 years.

In 2018, Glencree was awarded European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding under the PEACE IV Programme for the ‘Addressing the Legacy of Violence through Facilitated Dialogue’ (LOV) project. Match-funding was provided by The Executive Office, Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development. The overall project aim was to create meaningful, purposeful and sustained contact between victims and survivors’ groups, and representatives of groups and individuals with differing interpretations of what happened in Northern Ireland’s past. Primary participants were drawn from four hard-to-reach victims and survivors’ groups in Northern Ireland. A crucial aspect of the project was the co-design of the process and activities by these key participant groups.

Throughout the 5-year lifetime of the LOV project:

  • Twenty Facilitated Dialogues and eighteen residential workshops allowed group members to engage with issues that were important to them, and to meet with individuals and external groups for often challenging conversations within safe spaces.
  • Four of these were women-led workshops focused on empowering women within legacy contexts to address gender specific aspects of past violence.
  • A further four larger-scale roundtable events created opportunities for government and civil society representatives to hear directly from victims and survivors. These drew upon different forms of media such as theatre to introduce difficult themes and promote in-depth discussion.
  • More than 1200 participants have been engaged in workshops and dialogues drawn from both Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist and Catholic/Nationalist/Republican backgrounds, as well as those with no affiliation to either community.
  • Many participants took part in multiple events, resulting in almost 2500 total engagements.

The Glencree project team have also shared learnings and disseminated programme findings including the:

  • Publication of the Glencree Journal in conjunction with the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway and Ulster University featuring a bespoke collection of nineteen peer-reviewed papers on the theme ‘Dealing with the Legacy of Violence in Northern Ireland through Engagement and Dialogue’. (View Glencree Journal here)
  • One-day online Conference to launch the Glencree Journal in March 2021 with keynote address by Prof Brandon Hamber from INCORE at the University of Ulster in which he said: “This journal is an incredibly diverse amount of work; rich, creative, risk-taking. It advances the links between theory and practice, and it is innovative.” (View launch of Glencree Journal here)
  • Production of research briefs and presentations at national and international conferences and to the GFA Joint Oireachtas Committee
  • Publication of peer-reviewed papers.
  • Mid-term and final evaluations.
  • Two-day project Symposium in the Titanic Centre in Belfast in June 2022 on the theme of ‘Afterthought – The Missing Piece in Peace’ with contributions from a range of speakers (View information on the Symposium here)

“I want to thank Glencree because I am not sure who else would have taken on this work. We need to listen and understand the other because it is all still bubbling under the surface, and it’s the only way things are going to change”

Victims & Survivors Group Member, speaking at a cross-community facilitated dialogue

“Until you hear and see the people speaking, it doesn’t hit your heart. It is very moving and having victims here – they have huge testimony. We need to hear what they have to say”

Fergus O’ Dowd, TD, speaking at an LOV roundtable event in Dublin Castle.

Glencree's 'Addressing the Legacy of Violence through Facilitated Dialogue' project is supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). 

To find out more about this project, please click here >