The Community Relations Council welcomes the statement by Justice Minister David Ford that he was keen to review the Peacewalls to determine which could be removed in the future.
According to CRC Chair, Tony McCusker,
‘Obviously no-one is expecting miracle cures and we are not about to start taking down every wall overnight, but our view is if we don’t start now we’ll never start. We could look at strategies whereby we could begin to take down some of the walls.’
‘The process of removing interface barriers should be part of an inclusive, community approach towards building a shared society . It is also important that Government Departments and other public agencies create the conditions that will allow communities to feel safe and comfortable with the removal of the barriers. This includes providing structured support for the regeneration of interface areas as an essential element in their transformation.’
The Interface Working Group, established by the Community Relations Council in 2007, has been overseeing dialogue between interface workers, community representatives and various public agencies over the last few years . Its aim has been the creation of open and vibrant communities free from fear, threat or any obstacle to interaction. The Community Relations Council also provides direct support to those engaged in building community relations networks and dialogue in interface areas.