Project challenges attitudes to sectarianism

Pictured at the launch of the Tyrone Derry Donegal Action RDC Integrating Communities launch i An Grianan Hotel.  Searted are David Scott (Grand Orange Lodge), Dr. Adrian Johnston (Chairman IFI) ad Sean Feenan (AOH).  Standing are Pamela Smyth, Patricia McNulty, Stepahnie Hunter and Albert Allen.  (1304JB50)
Pictured at the launch of the Tyrone Derry Donegal Action RDC Integrating Communities launch i An Grianan Hotel. Searted are David Scott (Grand Orange Lodge), Dr. Adrian Johnston (Chairman IFI) ad Sean Feenan (AOH). Standing are Pamela Smyth, Patricia McNulty, Stepahnie Hunter and Albert Allen. (1304JB50)

An innovative project challenging attitudes to sectarianism was launched in the North West this week.

The Tyrone Derry and Donegal Action (TDDA) ‘Integrating Communities Programme’ was officially unveiled at An Grianan Hotel, Burt, Co. Donegal on Wednesday evening.

The International Fund for Ireland (IFI) has provided funding amounting to 122,208.00 euro for the project which is managed by the Northern Ireland Rural Development Council (RDC).

This project will be delivered in partnership with The Junction and the Old Library Trust, Derry, with TDDA as the lead partner.

The partnership will deliver a project which will challenge attitudes to sectarianism, encourage active civic participation and promote greater community integration within Derry, Tyrone, and in Co. Donegal.

Project objectives include:

* Women Out of Conflict cross-community/cross-border workshops.

* Future-Scope Forum.

* ‘Show N Tell’ Events.

* Storytelling.

* ‘Fact-finding’ trips.

* Series of cross-border/cross-community workshops, one of which took place at Wednesday’s launch entitled, ‘The Evolution of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Orange Order.’

Target areas include Derry City Council, Strabane District Council and Donegal County Council areas.

Speaking at Wednesday’s launch, Dr Adrian Johnston, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland, said: “This project is a fine example of communities working together to build relationships, share common interests and learn about each others backgrounds and culture. 

“I do not underestimate the hard work involved nor the challenges ahead. I have no doubt, however, that each group has already shown great commitment for a better future for everyone in the area and great leadership to inspire others to get involved.”

Mr Albert Allen, Programmes Director with TDDA, also spoke at the event.

“This innovative and imaginative partnership project has the potential to deliver long lasting and meaningful co-operation between communities in the North West,” he said.

“In the safe hands of TDDA project staff, with the support of our partners and the goodwill already being shown by all our communities, it can only go forward from strength to strength.”

Board members of Tyrone Derry and Donegal Action are Ian McCracken, Eamonn Deane, Winston Patterson, Jeff Barr, Goldie Martin, Florence Blackburn and Alex Buchanan.