An international peace expert has heaped praise on a world-renowned international conflict research centre based in Derry.
Iratxe Momoitio Astorkia, Director of the Gernika Peace Museum, paid her first visit to the University of Ulster’s Magee campus this week at the invitation of the ‘Accounts of the Conflict’ research project run by INCORE.
‘Accounts of the Conflict’, which has received £948,000 from the European Union’s PEACE III programme, will establish a digital archive offering long-term storage and preservation of stories related to life in Northern Ireland and the border region during the Troubles.
Iratxe, one of Europe’s leading experts in the field of peacebuilding, art and memory, is one of six international advisors to the ‘Accounts of the Conflict’ project at INCORE.
During her visit to Derry, she met the project team, as well as other University of Ulster academics working in linked fields, and delivered a seminar on the subject of ‘How to deal with our recent past by making important materials or sources available online’.
She also met individuals and organisations working in museums and archives across the city.
Iratxe said: “The ‘Accounts of the Conflict’ project has the opportunity to play an important role in mapping out and bringing together the numerous oral history projects related to the conflict in Northern Ireland that have been initiated on various topics and in different locations during the recent years.
“I had been looking forward for some time to this visit to Northern Ireland, and to INCORE at the University of Ulster, and have been deeply impressed by the commitment and professionalism of the people I met during my stay in Derry-Londonderry.”
INCORE Director Professor Brandon Hamber said: “Northern Ireland continues to benefit from the expertise of those working on peace-building internationally.
“Through our project, we are delighted to be able to bring international advisors here to ensure the ‘Accounts of the Conflict’ project at the University of Ulster meets the highest international standards in archiving and making information available. Iratxe’s visit also helps consolidate and sustain our connections with key international networks.”
‘Accounts of the Conflict’ project co-ordinator Professor Gillian Robinson added: “Iratxe’s visit is the second in a series by our international advisors. Next month, we look forward to welcoming Verne Harris, Director of the Mandela Archive in South Africa.”