Lantern Making Workshops

Castleblayney Community Enterprise completed another of their cultural diversity events namely Lantern Making Workshops under their Peace Project, ‘A Community Together’. The Community Together project is based in Castleblayney and works with hundreds of young people and adults from cross community and ethnic minorities using primarily the medium of art to overcome religious cultural and ethnic differences.  Castleblayney Community Enterprise is partnered with the Blayney Cultural Network Group and Church of Ireland on this project, which is supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

In total three one day workshops and an initial meeting with the participants were held involving over 20 children and adults of cross community and ethnic minority representation.  The participants which comprised of parents and their children worked alongside each other on decorative art lanterns made from various materials.  All participants working together through the medium of art also got an opportunity to understand and appreciate the value and extent of cultural diversity within the Community.  The workshops were delivered by art tutor Joanne Loughman which provided an opportunity for all to work together in a different environment, where they would not normally come together, which was also a useful approach to engagement and to raising awareness of cultural difference.

As stated the workshops are delivered through a project promoted by Castleblayney Community Enterprise titled, ‘A Community Together’.  The project is unique in that it involves an effective community involvement, which has the capacity and ability to address cultural diversity by working in partnership with the Church of Ireland and the Castleblayney Cultural Network group.

The final results of the workshops culminated in the creation by each family of three thematic lantern.  This also afforded the young people the opportunity to work with their parents in a main stream event outside the school environment, which provided a platform for networking and building positive relations at a local level.

Gary Ogle, elected Chairman of Castleblayney Community Enterprise, said “the group were delighted to be involved again in the delivery of another PEACE Project activity”.  He stated “our group have now established a strong track record in working with ethnic minorities living in Castleblayney and have always worked well on a cross community basis and this project ‘A Community Together’ affords us additional opportunities to build positive relations at the local level”.

Events under the ‘A Community Together’ project which is part financed by the European Union’s European Regional development fund through the Peace IV Programme and funder through Monaghan Peace Partnership.

Notes to the Editor:
The Special EU Programmes Body is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by the Department of Finance in Northern Ireland and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in Ireland.   It is responsible for managing two EU Structural Funds Programmes, PEACE IV and INTERREG VA which are designed to enhance cross-border co-operation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society.  The Programmes operate within a clearly defined area including Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and in the case of INTERREG VA, Western Scotland.  The PEACE IV Programme has a value of €270 million and aims to promote peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland.