The Community Relations Council (CRC) bids farewell this week to its Chief Executive Duncan Morrow who returns to the University of Ulster after nine years in charge of CRC.
Tony McCusker, the chairman of the Community Relations Council said Dr Morrow had served the council magnificently during his term as chief executive.
“Duncan has raised the profile of the CRC and has stayed with us longer than we had dared to hope.
“He is rightly acknowledged as the leading commentator in Northern Ireland on conflict resolution and peace building and has a deserved regional, national and international reputation in these fields.
“He has moulded the CRC into a very effective public body which enjoys enormous respect in the public, business and community sectors.
“He has influenced many public policies over the last nine years and is highly regarded for his role in articulating society’s expectations of Government in the development of a shared future strategy.”
Tony McCusker went on to say “Dr Morrow made a major contribution to the responses to the Executive’s draft policy on Cohesion, Sharing and Integration, which was published last year.
He said: “Most notably, Duncan argued that a litmus test for any devolved
administration was its ability to address the remaining and continuing divisions
in society and to shape a wide range of public policies accordingly.
“We will greatly miss Duncan as chief executive but wish him well in his new role at the university. We expect that he will continue to work to build the shared future policy.”
“Over the years it has been the most immense privilege to work with the Council, as a member of Council (1994-2000) and then as Chief Executive (2002-11). The struggle to make sure that all people are treated as fully human beings on the universal principle that very human person counts is the core of democracy, and I believe that this Council has stood for that principle at all times. I remain convinced that a shared future is the only future worth working for.”
“I believe the role of CRC in challenging government and helping to formulate policy to be crucial as Northern Ireland emerges from the shadow of the conflict.
“Sectarianism remains a major blight on this society and it will take a concerted and determined effort involving government and the community if we are to eliminate it.
“I have found my time with CRC to be most fulfilling and pay tribute to the staff, who are dedicated to the work of building the peace.
“I believe the organisation has a key role to play as the new Executive takes forward the work of developing a shared and better future for everyone in Northern Ireland.”
Note to editors:
· At UU Dr Morrow intends to pursue his research interests in peace and conflict studies and to work with the university on its plans to relocate much of its campus from Jordanstown to the York Street in central Belfast.
· CRC hopes to advertise the CEO post in January and appoint by April. In the meantime the current Deputy Chief Executive, Jacqueline Irwin, will be Acting Chief Executive.