Messines trip aims to bring villages closer

Larne Mayor Maureen Morrow (front, third left) at the North East Peace 3 Partnership Larne Community Cohesion Project meeting in the Londonderry Arms Hotel, Carnlough. INLT 32-412-PR
Larne Mayor Maureen Morrow (front, third left) at the North East Peace 3 Partnership Larne Community Cohesion Project meeting in the Londonderry Arms Hotel, Carnlough. INLT 32-412-PR
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A group of 16 from Glenarm and Carnlough are travelling to Belgium to take part in the Messines Experience as part of an international study visit.

The trip has been organised by

the Larne Community Cohesion Project - a joint initiative between the neighbouring coastal villages and which is delivered by Larne Borough

Council.

It is funded through the European Union’s PEACE III programme and is managed for the Special EU Programmes Body by the North East Peace III.

In advance of their trip to Belgium, the 16 participants from Glenarm and Carnlough got together in the Londonderry Arms Hotel in Carnlough to complete a pre-departure workshop before they head overseas to visit the site of The Battle of Messine Ridge where, Irish Division and Unionist 36th Division, who despite their religious and cultural differences fought and died.

During the study visit the participants will also complete an OCN Level 1 accredited course in conflict resolution.

The Larne Community Cohesion Project aims to exploit the potential for mutual understanding, respect for differences and reconciliation through remembering.

It also aims to build positive relations between all participants on the project from

Glenarm and Carnlough.

One of the participants,

Mary Watson, said: “I am delighted to get the opportunity to travel to Belgium as it has been a wish of mine that I could trace family members who were lost in the war”.

The Larne Community Cohesion Project, which is scheduled to run until September 2013 has a range of activities and events planned, to help link the villages together.

The PEACE III Programme, funded under the European RegionalDevelopment Fund (ERDF), is worth €333 million and is aimed primarily at reinforcing progress towards a peaceful and stable society and promoting reconciliation. It focuses on helping Northern Ireland and the border region of Ireland to reconcile communities and contribute towards a shared society.

If you would like any further information on the project please contact Mary O’Boyle on 07587 657 882 or email: oboylem@larne.gov.uk