Community relations award for key figure in Derry parades resolution

Michael Doherty, a key figure in the resolution of parading disputes in Derry won the Community Relations Award for Exceptional Achievement
Michael Doherty, a key figure in the resolution of parading disputes in Derry won the Community Relations Award for Exceptional Achievement

A key figure in the resolution of parading disputes in Derry has been honoured for his 25 years working in community relations.

Michael Doherty was announced as joint recipient of the Community Relations Award for Exceptional Achievement with Jackie Patton, Good Relations Officer at Ballymena Borough Council, at an event in the Long Gallery at Parliament Buildings yesterday as part of Community Relations Week.

Mr Doherty, who is currently Director of the Peace and Reconciliation Group (PRG), was a key member of the group that helped resolve the parading dispute between residents in Derry and the Apprentice Boys through a shuttle mediation process.

He has been involved in youth and community work since he was 18 years old and has been involved in a community relations capacity in a wide range of projects and organisations including the Northern Ireland Association of Youth Clubs (later Youth Action).

“Michael has been a constant influence in the peace process in the North West, from his vital role in parading disputes to training and his involvement in public debate,”CRC Chief Executive Jacqueline Irwin says.

“Often the work of community relations practitioners goes unsung, and we are delighted to shine a light on Jackie’s and Michael’s important achievements.”

The Community Relations Award for Exceptional Achievement has been presented annually since 2006 by the Community Relations Council as a mark of recognition. It consists of a trophy created from bronze and granite by the artist Kate Oram.