Conference – Partition: A Dividing Ireland in a Dividing Europe

20 November 2019

A photo montage of historical images | CRC NI

On Thursday 21 November 2019 a One-Day Conference: "Partition: A Dividing Ireland in a Dividing Europe" takes place at The Glenavon Hotel Cookstown. The conference is being organised by the Community Relations Council (CRC) in conjunction with The National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of their joint project on the Decade of Anniversaries.

This special regional one-day event looks at the momentous and turbulent period of change – 1920-22 in collaboration with organisations and local communities exploring the events of that period.  This free-to-attend event will engage participants in a practical day of learning to illuminate the period 1920-22. Keynote speakers include: Professor Alan Sharp; Dr Éamon Phoenix; and Liz Gillis.  NI Screen has created a show reel of original 1920s footage which will play throughout the event and the Nerve Centre will unveil a new animation based on the story of Partition.

Martin McDonald, Chair of The Community Relations Council said:

“Throughout this Decade of Centenaries, the Community Relations Council has been working in a strategic partnership with The Heritage Fund to explore and develop ways of engaging with our divided history. The experience of the Decade of Centenaries has shown that events, perhaps considered contentious, can be successfully engaged with and positively explored. Rather than ignore the past we can learn much from it.”

Paul Mullan, Director of The National Lottery Heritage Fund in Northern Ireland said:

“Partition in 1921 was not an isolated event, it happened in the context of a changing Europe where national self-determination and the reshaping of national boundaries drove massive changes throughout the continent.  Today, 100 years on, we are seeing similar changes brought about by Brexit.  How we react and deal with those issues will shape our next 100 years.”



  1. If you wish to attend the event, please contact Paul Killen by email or phone 028 9022 7500
  2. For further comments and quotes, contact CRC team, Michael McGlade, Communications Officer or Peter Day, Director of Engagement or phone 028 9022 7500
  3. Conference location: The Glenavon House Hotel, 52 Drum Road, Cookstown, BT80 8JQ.
  4. Conference date and time: Thursday 21 November 2019, 10am to 3.30pm.
  5. Conference size: 150 attendees.
  6. Tickets available from Eventbrite: 
  7. The Community Relations Council was established in 1990 to lead and support change towards reconciliation, tolerance and mutual trust. CRC is an Arms' Length Body of The Executive Office, a Department of the Northern Ireland Executive, and a catalyst for good inter-community and inter-cultural community relations work in the region.
  8. CRC website:
  9. CRC address: Equality House, 7-9 Shaftesbury Square, Belfast, BT2 7DB
  10. Liz Gillis is the author of 'Women of the Irish Revolution', 'Revolution in Dublin' and 'The Fall of Dublin'. She has a degree in Irish History and works as a Curatorial Assistant in RTÉ.
  11. Dr Éamon Phoenix is a political historian and broadcaster and head of life-long learning at Stranmillis University College. He’s a lecturer on Modern Irish History, with expertise on Decade of Centenaries 1912-25 and State Papers.
  12. Alan Sharp is Emeritus Professor of International History at Ulster University, from which he retired as Provost of its Coleraine campus in 2009. He is the author of 'The Versailles Settlement: Peacemaking after the First World War, 1919-1923' (Macmillan, 1991, third edition 2018) and was general editor of the 32 volume Haus series Makers of the Modern World.

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