Good Relations Week launch

Good Relations Week with a difference to celebrate 30 years of Connecting Communities    

7th September 2020

A range of free virtual events will take place this year as part of Good Relations Week 2020 in Fermanagh and Omagh.

Good Relations Week, coordinated by the Community Relations Council with local activity organised and supported by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and delivered in partnership with a number of other stakeholders, takes place from 14 – 21 September 2020.

The theme for this year’s Good Relations Week is “Celebrating our Journey, Embracing our Future” with the week showcasing and celebrating the work of communities and associations in sustaining good relations in Northern Ireland.

Launching the programme of virtual events taking place during Good Relations Week for Fermanagh and Omagh, the Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Chris Smyth, said:

“This year marks 30 years of the Community Relations Council and outstanding community relations work in Northern Ireland.

 Given the extraordinary circumstances we currently find ourselves in, Good Relations Week will certainly be different this year. The way communities and organisations embraced the challenges posed by Covid–19 over the past few months has demonstrated that good relations in our communities, particularly when times are challenging, are stronger than ever.

It is right that through Good Relations Week, we celebrate all aspects of our culture and heritage, promote cultural diversity and tackle sectarianism and racism. Our district now has a rich kaleidoscope of cultures to celebrate and Good Relations Week is a reminder that to share this place we live in, we need to respect each other’s differences and increase understanding and engagement between and amongst all sections of the community.

A range of free, online events will take place during the week. I would like to express my sincere thanks to everyone involved in organising these events for Good Relations Week in the Fermanagh and Omagh District, all of which can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home.

Finally, I would like to pay tribute to all community and voluntary groups who give so freely of their time throughout the year to help improve local community relations in the district.”

Jacqueline Irwin, CEO of Community Relations Council, said:

“Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this year’s programme – the energy behind the week is your enthusiasm, commitment and imagination. We hope Good Relations Week 2020 will inspire everyone to get involved in bringing local people together to help each other and, in so doing, build trusting relationships and a happier future too.”

Online events and activities taking place throughout the district for Good Relations Week include:

Monday 14 September 2020
Launch of short film ‘Celebrating Our Journey, Embracing our Future’. This will showcase and look back on a series of Good Relations events and programmes organised by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council over the past year.

Tuesday 15 September 2020, 10.00am – 11.30am
The Process of Peace-Making through the eyes of an ArtistIreland’s Totem, Crown of Conciliation – Circle of Hope 

Organised by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council in association with Fermanagh and Omagh Interfaith group. This facilitated workshop will examine the peace process in Northern Ireland using ‘Ireland’s Totem’, a driftwood construction, with words.

Wednesday 16 September 2020, 10.00am – 12.00pm
‘From “the Muddy Byways of Fermanagh and Tyrone” to Partition and Two Irish States 1918-22’. 

Organised by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council in association with Rural Community Network and NI Screen’s Digital Film Archive. An online talk by renowned historian Dr Éamon Phoenix which will examine the key historical events in Ireland in the years 1918 – 1922 using unseen footage of key events.

Wednesday 16 September 2020, 7.00pm – 9.00pm
‘Hope beyond Covid: Where to now for Church Communities?’ 

Organised by Omagh Churches’ Forum in association with Fermanagh and Omagh District Council. This online talk with eminent church leaders, The Most Rev Eamon Martin, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of all Ireland and the Right Rev John McDowell, Church of Ireland Archbishop-elect of Armagh, will explore how Church communities have found new and innovative ways to connect with each other during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thursday 17 September 2020, 10.00am – 12.00pm
Good Relations and Knowing Racial History; Embracing a More Just Future’ 

Organised by the Irish School of Ecumenics in association with Fermanagh Churches Forum and Fermanagh and Omagh District Council. An online talk by Dr Johnston McMaster followed by a question and answer session and small group discussion.

Thursday 17 September 2020, 7.00pm – 9.00pm
The ‘State’ of Northern Ireland 

Organised by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council. This six-week shared history training programme will explore key historical events in Northern Ireland from the Home Rule crisis to Partition and the Civil Right Movements. Places are limited and participants are expected to commit to all six sessions.

To find out more about these events or to book a place on any of the online events, please telephone Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s Good Relations team on 0300 303 1777 (calls charged at local rate), Textphone 028 8225 6216 or email goodrelations@fermanaghomagh.com