Good Relations Week to celebrate culture and heritage

7th September 2018

A range of free public events will take place across the Fermanagh and Omagh district as part of the Northern Ireland-wide Good Relations Week.

Taking place from Monday 17 September – Sunday 23 September 2018, Good Relations Week celebrates all aspects of culture and heritage, promoting cultural diversity and challenging sectarianism and racism. 

The theme for this year is ‘Then, Now … Next’; encouraging people to reflect on progress made after 20 years since The Agreement and to think about what should happen next.

Good Relations Week is coordinated by the Community Relations Council with Fermanagh and Omagh District Council coordinating events locally and leading delivery on a number of events across the district during the week.

Launching the programme of events taking place during Good Relations Week in the Fermanagh and Omagh district, Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Howard Thornton, said:

“Good Relations Week aims to inspire new ideas and promote understanding, respect and engagement among all sections of our community. A varied programme of events will take place across the district throughout the week providing people with the opportunity to find out more about our local culture and heritage, promoting conversation, engagement and understanding within and between communities.”

Jacqueline Irwin, Chief Executive of the Community Relations Council, says: 

“We have chosen the theme ‘Then, Now…Next?’ to reflect the mood of this year. In April we marked the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Belfast Agreement, so it has already been a time of reflection and stock-taking. However, the year has also been full of thoughts about the future.

When the Agreement was signed it would have been impossible to imagine everything that has happened since. In the same way, we cannot assume what the next 20 years may bring. However, we do know this: we shape the future and its possibilities by our actions here and now.

Through Good Relations Week we showcase events and people who have chosen to build and sustain good relationships across our diverse community. The commitment and willingness to build good community relationships is the fabric of peace and it is changing the way we will share the future.

We still have some way to go, but every day the groups and organisations showcased during the week continue to work to drive us all forward as one collective community, representing this place in all its diversity. The week is only a snapshot of the work that takes place year-round, and we hope it encourages more people to engage and foster new relationships.”

Events and activities taking place throughout the district for Good Relations Week include conferences, talks, exhibitions and multi-cultural events.
Some of these include:

‘What can churches do next?’, Monday 17 September 2018, Tir Navar, Derrygonnelly, 7.30 pm – 9.30 pm
Organised in partnership with Derrygonnelly and District Community Partnership, Professor John Brewer, Queen’s University, Belfast, will speak to an open audience about religion and politics and what the role of the local churches is in today’s society.

‘The Church and Reconciliation’, Wednesday 19 September 2018, Omagh Library, 7.30pm – 9.30pm 
Organised in partnership with Omagh Churches’ Forum, a public event with guest speaker Dr Fergus O’Ferrall exploring the churches and the challenges of reconciliation.

‘Beyond 1918’ conference, Thursday 20 September 2018, Omagh Library, 9.30am – 12.30pm
In association with Rural Community Network and Libraries NI, a conference examining the key historical events of the end of World War One and its aftermath.  Speakers include Philip Orr, Sean Collins and Maureen Hetherington.

Conference ‘Uneasy, Unsettled, Unsettling: Religion and State Relations’, Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen, Thursday 20 September 2018, 10.00am – 4.00pm
In association with Fermanagh Churches Forum and Irish School of Ecumenics, a conference exploring how faith values and ethics can help build more just and inclusive relationships and in partnership develop a concrete vision of the common good.

‘Making Culture Work’, Friday 21 September 2018, Omagh Community House, 6.00 pm – 9.00 pm
Omagh Ethnic Communities Support Group will host cultural arts and crafts workshop to highlight the importance of sharing different traditions and folk culture from around the world.

Chinese Cultural Display, Saturday 22 September 2018, Enniskillen Castle Museums, 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm
Demonstration of Chinese writing and craft work by Erne District Chinese Families and Friends Association.

To find out more about events taking place in the Fermanagh and Omagh district during Good Relations Week please visit the Council website at fermanaghomagh.com, pick up a brochure in the Strule Arts Centre, Omagh or at Enniskillen Castle or telephone Fermanagh and Omagh District Council on 0300 303 1777 (calls charged at local rate) or Textphone 028 8225 6216.

These events and projects have received financial support from Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s Good Relations programme assisted by The Executive Office.