‘Twinned’ neighbourhoods building good relations
Last week, cross-border neighbourhoods twinned through the Housing Associations Integration Project (HAIP) visited Raphoe Castle and Lifford Courthouse together. For the first time tenants from Sheriff’s Glen in Derry~Londonderry also visited their twinned neighbourhood, Ard Mhuileann in Convoy, Co. Donegal.
The HAIP seeks to improve cross community relations in social housing. It is a €1.1 million project supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. Match funding for this project has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.
The cross-community group of tenants from the twinned neighbourhoods started the day in a café in Convoy where they enjoyed breakfast together. Afterwards they visited the castle in Raphoe followed by a guided tour of Lifford Courthouse. There tenants learned about life as a prisoner in a guided tour with a difference. They experienced the reality of law and order as they were charged, sentenced, fingerprinted and shown their new surroundings. As ‘prisoners’ for the day, they learned all about the cramped conditions, painful punishments and disgusting diet endured by inmates of the past.
Neesha McBride from Convoy said:
It was an excellent day out. We had great fun.
Rosemary Harkin from Sheriff’s Glen in Derry~Londonderry commented:
I had an amazing day and met lovely people. We learned a lot of history at the Lifford Courthouse. It was brilliant.
Ann Herron, Apex’s Good Relations Officer, commented:
The group bonded so well and have already planned their next visit, with Convoy tenants coming to visit Derry before Christmas. The plan is to visit the Tower Museum and walk around the city’s walls. It’s inspirational to watch the cross-border and cross-community tenants share experiences with each other, and long may it continue.