Good Relations Week to explore issues including cultural diversity, dealing with the past, faith, sport, young people and language

12 September 2018


(L-R) launching the Good Relations Week 2018 programme at Ormeau Road Library are CRC Chair, Peter Osborne; Chief Executive, Jacqueline Irwin; Libraries NI Chief Executive, Jim O’Hagan & CRC Director of Engagement, Peter Day.


They are pictured at site of a sculpture erected in 2010 at the library. Created by artist Daniela Balmaverde, the depiction of a young girl reading a book with a blackbird resting on her shoulder was a commission developed from consultations to create a cross-community piece of art that would develop and bridge new connections between communities in the Ormeau area.

•            17 – 23 September
•            Over 180 events
•            All council areas represented
•            Coordinated by the Community Relations Council

The programme of events for this year’s Good Relations Week is officially launched today.

Coordinated by the Community Relations Council (CRC) the week will feature over 180 events across all council areas between September 17 and 23 with support from The Executive Office, the Department for Communities, the Department of Justice and other government agencies.

Under the theme “Then, Now… Next?” events will cover issues including cultural diversity, dealing with the past, faith, sport, young people and language.

Organisers include community and voluntary organisations, local councils, Libraries NI, National Museums Northern Ireland, the Education Authority, and a wide range of others.

This year’s events range from Irish language taster sessions in Larne Methodist Church to the launch of a short film at Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin called “For the Love of Bands”, focusing on the contribution of individuals and families who support marching band culture.

Others include a Shankill Women’s Centre event to unite women from nationalist and unionist areas of north and west Belfast to discuss how they can be involved in building a united community together.

The Intercultural Education Service and Urban Villages are celebrating the schools that have achieved the School of Sanctuary award to allow other schools to learn from their experience and journey. The award seeks to help schools become welcoming places where cultural diversity is valued and every pupil is celebrated.

International Peace Day and Culture Night, both on the 21st September, are also included in the programme of events this year.

Community Relations Council Chief Executive, Jacqueline Irwin, said: “We have chosen the theme ‘Then, Now...Next?’ to reflect the mood of this year. In April we marked the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Belfast Agreement, so it has already been a time of reflection and stock-taking. However, the year has also been full of thoughts about the future.

“When the Agreement was signed it would have been impossible to imagine everything that has happened since. In the same way, we cannot assume what the next 20 years may bring. However, we do know this: we shape the future and its possibilities by our actions here and now.

“Through Good Relations Week we showcase events and people who have chosen to build and sustain good relationships across our diverse community. The commitment and willingness to build good community relationships is the fabric of peace and it is changing the way we will share the future.

“We still have some way to go, but every day the groups and organisations showcased during the week continue to work to drive us all forward as one collective community, representing this place in all its diversity. The week is only a snapshot of the work that takes place year-round, and we hope it encourages more people to engage and foster new relationships.”

For more information on events happening in your area, visit where a copy of the programme is available for download. You can search for events on the website by event type, geographical area and date.

You can also keep up to date with Good Relations Week 2018 on Facebook and Twitter and by using the hashtag #GRWeek18.







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