Stronger in Diversity

The “Decade of Commemorations” marks the 100th anniversary of events which shaped and influenced British & Irish History such as The Ulster Covenant, First World War, Easter Rising, Battle of the Somme and Act of Partition

In 2013, as part of a Peace III funded programme, I arranged a number of talks with expert historians as well as a memorabilia roadshow where local people could take along their artefacts and have historical provide some more detail on the the significance of their items.

I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to capture all of these events on a DVD and was delighted when Dr Éamon Phoenix  agreed to tie it all together by filming some of the key historical sites related to the Decade of Commemorations around the Dungannon area.

Thanks to Éamon and his expertise in front of the camera we spent a wonderful day filming key locations around Dungannon and County Tyrone.

Last night Éamon presented a talk on Stronger in Diversity linking the Decade to Dungannon in Ranfurly House and used clips from the DVD to highlight some of the local stores and links to key events in history.

The DVD has been made available free to local groups and organisations and a copy is available at Ranfurly House.

The DVD includes:

Castle Hill: Remains of  towers that belonged to Knox Hannyngton House on the site of the Castle of Hugh O’Neill
Castlecaufield: Birthplace of Joseph Johnston author of ‘Civil war in Ulster’ 1913, Protestant Home Ruler
Northland Row: Home to Thomas Clarke, Irish revolutionary leader in 1916 Easter Rising
St Patrick’s Hall, Coalisland: The rendezvous point for the Irish Volunteers, the only Ulster action in the 1916 Easter rising
Dungannon War Memorial: Commemorating the Cumberland Brothers and their engagement in the Battle of the Somme
War memorial, New Mills: Pt Robert Morrow, awarded the VC for his actions on the 12 April 1915 near Missines, Belgium
The Market Square: Scene of the stoning of Countess Markievicz.
Killymoon Castle, Cookstown: immobilisation of 850 UVF in 1914

The DVD also includes artefacts brought by the public to the ‘Memorabilia Roadshow’ held in Dungannon Library in 2013 where Dr Éamon Phoenix, Dr Johnston McMaster and Dr Gavin Hughes helped identify and date the items.

Memorabilia includes an Orange Order poster from 1886 declaring ‘Nay’ No Surrender; A group photographs from the 2nd Btn RIF taken in India; a post card from a Dungannon actress who was entertaining the troops in France; a 1915 War Service brooch; WWI medals and scroll; UVF Gunrunning instructions for drivers and old song books for soldiers.

For more detail on the DVD

EU at the Castle

Every year this event is hosted in Enniskillen Castle. The Castle was one the stronghold of the Gaelic Maguire chieftains is situated beside Lough Erne in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh and was built almost 600 years ago. The Castle’s history is traced from its beginnings as a Maguire castle until its use as a barracks in the 1700s and 1800s. Europe Direct NI collaborated with Women of the World to run activities on the EU as well as a stand to provide a range of EU publications and resources for children and parents.


Network for Enterprising Women

The Network for Enterprising Women (NEW) hosted their networking event for business in the Lemon Tree Coffee Shop in Belleek, Co Fermanagh. Women from across Fermanagh gathered together to talk about their business, current business news and in addition were presented with opportunities to swap ideas and discuss business issues.

The meetings are very informal, however out of these events some great business contacts can be made and developed. Teresa O’Loughlin, chair of the Network commented. “Our network has been running now for over ten years with a voluntary committee who are all self employed women. There is a real feel of optimism in the business community and our network is showing its own signs of growth. Like many networking organisations we have seen members come and go, we are very keen to engage with ladies who were members previously and would be interested in rejoining. Equally there is a whole population of enterprising women from across the county who are either home workers, sole traders and larger business owners.

One of most exciting developments in 2014 will be our involvement in a European project managed by Europe Direct NI that will bring 8 European regions together in Fermanagh on a knowledge sharing trip. This is our 2014 G8! Essentially this project is looking at women who are living and working rurally in Northern Ireland, Spain, Germany, Cyprus, Turkey, Poland and Hungary.

Europe Direct NI

Europe Direct NI

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Europe Direct NI is a member of a European Commission Information Network called Europe Directwith over 500 offices in each of the 27 Member States who act as the firstpoint of contact for questions about the European Union. Europe Direct NI provides information on EU programmes, policies, publications and resources and share best practice between regions.

Study Visits/ Event Management

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Europe Direct NI offers an event management service for conferences, seminars within this or other regions of Europe. We specialise in tailor made study visits between regions to share expertise and best practice which can be adapted and transferred to this region. As part of a network with partners throughout Europe we can provide you with personal recommendations to make sure you reach the right people and projects.

Training: The EU & Intercultural Competence

Europe Direct NI provides a range of training on the the EU; its Member States, Institutions, Languages and the Euro Zone. Intercultural/Cultural Awareness training provides the knowledge, skills and expertise to work effectively across cultures. Training is tailored to your specific needs for business, community, schools, council, youth etc. and delivered at a venue to suit you.

Visit our website for more information

One Stop Shop for Ireland

EU Commission Representation Office, Dublin 2 December 2013

I was invited to speak to the Ireland Europe Direct Network and other EU Information providers by the EU Commission Representation offices in Dublin as a result of my participation in a pan European working group on co-operation between EU Information Networks and as Chair of the N Ireland European Information Network to share my experience of co-operation.

A survey was carried out across the Europe Direct Network in all the member states to find best examples of how Europe Direct offices co-operate with other EU information providers in their regions. The results were published in a guide to share the best practice throughout the Europe Direct Network.

As well as sharing the background to the guide and describing some of the best practice initiatives I also explained how the EU Information providers in N Ireland co-operate across the region through the NI European Information Network (NIEN) co-ordinated by the EU Commission Representation in Belfast.

Members of NIEN include Europe Direct NI, Belfast City Council, British Council, European Studies Programme, EURES and Enterprise Europe. We collaborate to run seminars, conference and exhibitions sharing our resources, budgets and personnel to broaden the reach of EU information across the region.

A networking session was held to encourage the various Networks present at the meeting; Europe Direct, SOLVIT, EURES, Enterprise, EURODESK, Your Europe Advice, FIN-NET, EURAXESS, European Consumer Centre and Invest Ireland to find easy to collaborate in 2014.

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Finale of Decade of Commemorations Programme

The Decade in Dungannon 29 November 2013

This was a specific programme developed for Dungannon and South Tyrone related to “the decade of commemorations” funded through Peace III. The programme of 6 projects was managed by Heather McLaughlin with the purpose of delivering a series of activities to inform, engage and involve as many local residents within the area on the ‘Decade” marking the 100th anniversary of events from 1912-1923, which shaped and influenced Irish and British history.

The 6 projects included;

 Dungannon Library: who delivered a series of seminars; a series of story boards on ‘Decade” and hosted the memorabilia roadshow where people brought artefacts relating to the Decade to find out their significance from historical experts

Friends of the Somme Mid Ulster Branch:  who developed a database and website listing the names and details of five hundred plus men and women from the Dungannon District, who served and died in the Great War.

Youth Action N Ireland: who worked with young people to research the “Decade” before participating in study visits to key historical sites and held a seminar ‘Lets Talk Commemorations” with speakers a panel discussion’

Moygashel Community and Cultural Organisation: who organised a study visit to The Somme Heritage Centre and Kilmainham Jail and other sites related to the Easter Rising.

Royal School Dungannon: who published a WWI booklet on past pupils of the school.

The O’Neil Country and Historical Society: who published in their yearly edition of Dúiche Néill a number of articles relevant to the “decade of commemorations” relating to WWI in this area and to events which led up to the Easter rising.

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‘A project supported by the European Union’s PEACE III Programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.’