Good relations for Cookstown

COOKSTOWN is supporting Community Relations Week 2013 with three events planned later this month.

A film, cafe style session and a discussion are the three local events making up the 170 happening across Northern Ireland from May 20 to 26.

The theme is ‘Expressing Identity – Addressing Division.’ Community Relations Week is organised by the Community Relations Council (CRC) and includes events run by councils, public bodies and community and voluntary sector organisations.

Cookstown District Council invites those who wish to widen their knowledge of the changing demographics in Northern Ireland by screening the film that is already creating a media buzz, Tapestry of Colours by Zhenia Mahdi-Nau, on Tuesday May 21 from 10am to 1pm at the Burnavon Theatre.

This 80-minute story brings a strong local angle to a world-wide phenomenon and delves into the thoughts and emotions of individuals from different religious and ethnic backgrounds who have chosen to make Northern Ireland their home, giving them a voice to articulate a rainbow of feelings from fear to joy, relief to nostalgia, anger to sadness.

The council will also organise a cafe-style session on May 23 at Cookstown Library, which will bring young people together and promote the dispelling of myths associated to communities from other cultural backgrounds.

Finally, a discussion organised by Loup Women’s Group on Saturday, May 25 will bring together children and older people from all traditions to explore their life and times and break intergenerational barriers to discover the similarities between now and then.

Jacqueline Irwin, CRC’s Chief Executive welcomes the progress made since Community Relations Week began in 2003 and stresses that the right to express and celebrate our identity is an important part of community life.

Welcoming Cookstown’s involvement she said: “Taking part in Community Relations Week events is an active way of demonstrating dedication to peace building. This is our statement of hope for the future, encouraging us to realise that we can learn the skills necessary to build relationships and bridge division,” she added.

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