News » Archived News 2006

Co-operation Ireland Programmes

The Lord Mayor of Cork City, Cllr. Deirdre Clune, hosted the launch of Co-operation with a true Cork welcome and promised her support for Ireland’s cross-border Cork programmes on Wednesday, 22 February 2006 at City Hall, Cork.


Tony Kennedy OBE, Chief Executive of Co-operation Ireland launched
Co-operation Ireland’s peace and reconciliation programmes for Cork in 2006 involving many youth and community groups in Cork partnering with programmes in Northern Ireland in the areas of sport, recreation and education. Co-operation Ireland is the leading peace-building charity on the island of Ireland.



Tony Kennedy, Chief Executive, Cooperation Ireland, signing the visitors book in the Lord Mayor's Chambers, photographed with the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Deirdre Clune and Jim Fitzgerald Chairman, Co-operation Ireland Cork Committee.



Jim Fitzgerald Chairman of Co-operation Ireland Cork Committee was present at the event together with Ógra ChorcaÍ Executive Director, Declan O’Leary and Community Education Facilitator for Mayfield Community Education Network, Mr Dennis Barrett. Both groups are involved in Co-operation Ireland’s Beyond Borders Programme.


“Co-operation Ireland’s programmes are supported in Cork through an annual Cork Golf Classic held each year in June and the fundraising efforts of many individuals such as Mr Joe Lane, from Rockchapel, who has signed up for Co-operation Ireland’s 700 kms 10-day Bike South Africa cycle,” Jim Fitzgerald, Chairman of Cork Committee.


For the past two years, another of Co-operation Ireland’s cycling events involving members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and An Garda Siochana has passed through Cork during its five-day cycle challenge from the top to the bottom of the island of Ireland.


Co-operation Ireland has been working with communities at grass roots level for over 25 years giving people the opportunity to meet and share experiences and opinions with those of different religion or tradition.


“Building bridges requires managing contact between the different groups and developing trust. Co-operation Ireland has built this trust with all communities throughout the island of Ireland,” Tony Kennedy OBE, Chief Executive of
Co-operation Ireland.



The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Deirdre Clune, photographed with Tony Kennedy, Chief Executive, Cooperation Ireland, Jim Fitzgerald Chairman, Co-operation Ireland Cork Committee with pupils of Glanmire and Bishopstown community schools.




Co-operation Ireland Programmes

• Exchanges Programme

Fermoy Boys and Girls Boxing Club are in the second year of an exchange programme with clubs from Northern Ireland. Last year the club hosted St. John Bosco Boxing Club from Belfast and made a return trip to Derry in December. They are hoping to have two further exchanges this coming year with the club in Derry.


• Civic-Link Programme

Glanmire Community College, currently participates in the
Co-operation Ireland Civic-Link programme and is partnered with Lisnagarvey High School in Belfast. Civic-Link is a unique action learning and exchange programme for and about young people from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.


The Civic-Link education programme, reflects the current debate about the meaning of citizenship and deals with issues of interculturalism and identity in the contemporary environment. Launched six years ago, the programme has brought together over 160 school and youth groups from all over the island of Ireland to work together to identify issues of conflict in their own communities. By involving linked schools from different backgrounds in examining their communities and sharing solutions to problems in those communities, Civic-Link promotes mutual understanding, cross-border co-operation and civic responsibility.


• Community Sports Programme

This project brings together managers, coaches and trainers from local based clubs from both parts of the island and is aimed at developing better co-operation among the traditional sporting organisations on the island.


These clubs come from the three major ball-sports – soccer, Gaelic football, hurling and rugby. Relationship building and reconciliation across the three areas is a key element of the programme. The programme is designed to look at single identity, cross community and cross-border issues. Importantly, the project will also include facilitated workshops dealing with sport–specific topics in order to provide needed and relevant information to the participants.


Local groups participating include City of Cork VEC, Cork City Council,
Cork City Sports Partnership, Munster Rugby Football Club, Na Piarsaigh Hurling Football Club and Co-operation Ireland local support group.

• Beyond Borders Programme

There are two groups from Cork involved in the Beyond Borders Programme. This programme links groups from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in a three-year programme, the aim of which is to develop, pilot, measure and evaluate a methodology of cross border and cross community contact exchange work that is sustained, developmental and systemic.


A group from Ógra ChorcaÍ, which provides mainline youth services for different communities throughout Cork City, will participate in this programme with groups from Ballintra/Laghey in Donegal and a group from Strabane in County Tyrone.


Mayfield Community Education Network, focused on facilitating and encouraging people back into the education system, will link with Southcity Resource and Development Group in Belfast.


The main goal of this programme is to embed the principles of inclusion, respect for difference, ways to manage conflict and tackle prejudice into the cultural life of the participating groups. Training will also be provided for the leaders of the groups taking part over the lifetime of the programme.

Back to list