Each year the Community Relations Council recognises local peacebuilders bringing lasting peace to Northern Ireland
Dr Éamon Phoenix received the 2022 Good Relations Award from the Community Relations Council (CRC) at an online gala event attended by peers, peacebuilders and government representatives.
The political historian and well known broadcaster was presented with the 2022 Good Relations Award at a ceremony on Wednesday 31 March 2022.
Dr Phoenix continues the lineage of inspirational local peacemakers who are recognised for their lifelong achievements by CRC’s Good Relations Award since its inception in 2006.
An additional seven highly commendable awards were also presented at an online ceremony hosted by Martin McDonald MBE, Chair of CRC. Also in attendance was Gareth Johnston from the Executive Office, as well as last year’s winner Baroness May Blood MBE, Campaign Chair of the Integrated Education Fund in Northern Ireland.
The 2022 Good Relations Award winners and nominees have demonstrated excellence in community relations in everything from sport to education, young people, heritage, and physical and mental health. They also encompass all T:BUC themes: Shared Space; Safe Community; Children and Young People; and Cultural Expression.
Dr Phoenix has devoted a significant portion of his career in bringing to life historical events to help shape, inform and educate at all levels, from government to grassroots groups. He said:
“On the island of Ireland it has been rightly said that we have a common history but not a common memory. Over many years in my public history work across the community, I have found that engagement with our often conflicted past can break down barriers and foster cross-community understanding.
“It’s an absolute honour to have been selected among many others who have dedicated their efforts to help make Northern Ireland a better place. The 2022 Good Relations Award from the Community Relations Council is such an important award because a lot of Good Relations work often flies under the radar, and having an event like this really demonstrates how many different people and perspectives it takes to build a better, more equitable society. I know this will be an Award that I treasure deeply.”
Martin McDonald MBE, Chair of CRC, praised the exceptional endeavours of all those receiving a nomination. He said:
“The Community Relations Council’s Good Relations Award celebrates the dedication of peacebuilders throughout this region, and offers us an opportunity to demonstrate our heartfelt thanks for all the hard work these special individuals have undertaken.
“It was my privilege and honour to join together with the nominees at this award ceremony to recognise those selfless citizens who strive to create a better life for everyone here in Northern Ireland. This year, despite another difficult period in our recent history, they proved yet again what can be achieved when you strive for good community relations.”
Dr Jacqueline Irwin, CEO of CRC, said:
“Each nominee showcases an amazing contribution to our society, and each has helped to build better connected communities through good relations. It is more important than ever to recognise and reward these truly selfless champions of peace and reconciliation, and to learn from their shining examples. I am always humbled to see such amazing individuals and the work they do over many years to build stronger communities and in the process enhancing all our lives.”
- Dr Éamon Phoenix
Highly commendable awards
- Adekanmi Abayomi
- Daryl Clarke
- Joe Donnelly
- Irene Hewitt
- Dr. Darshan Kumar
- Philip Lavery
- Joe O'Donnell
- The Community Relations Council was established in 1990 to lead and support change towards reconciliation, tolerance and mutual trust. CRC is an Arm’s 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.
- Previous winners: Baroness May Blood MBE (winner 2021); Paddy White; Marion Jamison and Charmain Jones; Eamonn Deane; Derrick Wilson; Anne Carr; Renee Crawford and Jean Brown; Dr David Stevens; Mary Kelly; Rab McCallum and Michael Acheson; Chris O’Halloran; Maureen Hetherington; Paul McCrory; Fr Gary Donegan; and Eileen Weir.
- Nominees were required to outline their contribution to peacebuilding and community relations work by reference to the following criteria:
- Evidence of the exceptional, sustained and long-term commitment of the nominee/s to community relations work.
- Evidence of the commitment of the nominee/s to community relations/intercultural work beyond single community across Northern Ireland and/or across the Border.
- Influence on thinking on peace-building and community relations issues.
- Embodiment of Community Relations Council values – fairness and justice (Equity), the peaceful celebration of variety and difference (Diversity) and the importance of sharing, trust and inclusion (Interdependence).
- The Together: Building United Communities (T:BUC) strategy reflects The Executive Office’s commitment to improving community relations and continuing the journey towards a more united and shared society.