Episodes

  • EPISODE SUMMARY

    In the final review episode of the Forward Together Podcast our invited panel considered the future of Northern Ireland.

    A panel considered how to engage in a friendly and unthreatening conversation about the future constitutional arrangements for Northern Ireland. This was held as part of a concluding reflection on the Holywell Trust’s series of 35 Forward Together podcast interviews.

    The panel comprised author Julieann Campbell, the commentator Denis Bradley (who was co-chair of the Consultative Group on the Past and former deputy chair of the Northern Ireland Policing Board) and Maureen Hetherington of the Junction, plus Paul Gosling who conducted interviews for the podcasts.

    Listen on to hear the conversation in full as well as snippets taken from some of our earlier podcasts.

  • EPISODE SUMMARY

    Dealing with the past

    A discussion on how to deal with the past was held as part of a concluding reflection on the Holywell Trust’s series of Forward Together podcasts. The panel was author Julieann Campbell, the commentator Denis Bradley (who was co-chair of the Consultative Group on the Past and former deputy chair of the Northern Ireland Policing Board) and Maureen Hetherington of the Junction, plus Paul Gosling who conducted the interviews for the 35 podcasts.

    This review focuses on the dealing with the past question raised during the podcast series.

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  • EPISODE SUMMARY

    Creating a shared and integrated society

    A discussion on how to create a shared and integrated society was held as part of a concluding reflection on the Holywell Trust’s series of Forward Together podcasts. The panel was author Julieann Campbell, the commentator Denis Bradley (who was co-chair of the Consultative Group on the Past and former deputy chair of the Northern Ireland Policing Board) and Maureen Hetherington of the Junction, plus Paul Gosling who conducted the interviews for the 35 podcasts.

    We began by listening to highlights from the recordings from Linda Ervine, Clare Sugden, Simon Hamilton, Maureen Hetherington and Conal McFeely.

  • REVIEW SUMMARY

    A discussion on how to strengthen civic society was held as part of a concluding reflection on the Holywell Trust’s series of Forward Together podcasts. The panel was author Julieann Campbell, the commentator Denis Bradley (who was co-chair of the Consultative Group on the Past and former deputy chair of the Northern Ireland Policing Board) and Maureen Hetherington of the Junction, plus myself as the person who conducted the interviews for the 35 podcasts.

    We began by listening to highlights from the recordings which was followed by a panel discussion and comments from the audience.

  • EPISODE SUMMARY

    “You want to do them justice and to do their stories justice.” Telling the stories of the children who died in the Troubles.

    “We've done interviews with just shy of 100 families who lost children during the Troubles,” explains Freya McClements. “And you feel like you know them. The thing above all is that you want to do them justice and to do their stories justice.”

    Freya is discussing the research that she and Joe Duffy have done for their book Children of the Troubles, which is published in October. She describes the opportunity to write the book as “a privilege”. Freya admits that the research has been difficult and upsetting. “Your focus is always that it's not about you. It's about the person that you speak to, but how you then convey their experiences or what they say to the world."

    Listen on to hear the full interview with Freya.

  • SUMMARY

    Information on our upcoming Forward Together Podcast event taking place at 2.00pm on 18th September at Holywell Trust, 10-12 Bishop Street, Derry. The event is open for all to attend and we'll hear highlights from our series and have a discussion with our panel made up of Paul Gosling, Denis Bradley, Maureen Hetherington (The Junction) and Julieann Campbell (Museum of Free Derry).

  • EPISODE SUMMARY

    ‘Telling Troubles stories can help deal with the past’

    Telling stories about the past – about the Troubles – can help families and society move on, says playwright Jo Egan. She dramatised the events that killed six children during the Troubles in‘The Crack in Everything’, which was produced by Derry’s Playhouse Theatre as part of a European Union Peace project. She was also responsible for ‘Crimea Square’, a community theatre play about the history of the Shankill Road.

    “People want to be heard,” says Jo. “They want their stories recognised. And I think we need to recognise and hear the stories.”

    Listen on to hear the full interview with Paul.

  • ‘Unless we start listening, we’re not going to move forward’

    “Unless we start listening, we're not really going to move forward,” says Julieann Campbell, editor of the Unheard Voices collection of women's stories from the Troubles. She was interviewed in the latest Forward Together podcast.

    Julieann reflects in the podcast on the impact on her of the interviews with women about their experiences in the Troubles. “I think it has affected me on several levels, emotionally and in my work,” she says. “It is a fact that it has made me more sensitive. It has made me more empathetic towards people I meet. And it has made me less judgmental.

    “And I think it has opened my eyes to the hurt that is still here that I would never have seen if I hadn't engaged in this kind of work. So it was a real eye opener for me personally.

    Listen on of more from Julieann.

  • EPISODE SUMMARY

    ‘Transformative decisions on Northern Ireland have not been taken’, laments Peter Osborne

    Northern Ireland is more than 20 years into a 50 year peace process, which is being held back because government here has failed to take the radical transformative steps that are required. This is the view of Peter Osborne, the former chair of the Community Relations Council, in the latest Forward Together podcast.

    Peter explains: “We are in a process that will last at least 50 years. Some people thought when the [Good Friday] agreement was signed, we had peace. We don't. Some people thought it would take 10 or 20 years. It won't. It will take generations and it will be at least 50 years. So 20 years on from the Good Friday Agreement, we are less than halfway through this process.... There are no quick fixes. But we also need to understand that it can go backwards as well as forwards. There is no inevitable forward flow to the peace in Northern Ireland and we are in a very serious situation.”

    He continues: “Politics is really important, but it's about more than politics. I think in 20 years since the agreement, we haven't taken the transformational decisions that are necessary. We still have a society that is as segregated as it ever was.”

    Listen on to the full interview.

  • EPISODE SUMMARY

    Class division in Northern Ireland even greater than between orange and green, argues CFNI chief.

    Class is a bigger and more significant division in Northern Ireland than is the religious divide, argues the chief executive of the Community Foundation Northern Ireland Andrew McCracken. “Whilst there's the really visible gap between orange and green, the more fundamental and more important gap is the gap between rich and poor and the bubbles of society that we live in,” says Andrew in the latest Forward Together podcast.

    Listen on for the full interview.

  • EPISODE SUMMARY

    Deal with disadvantage before unity, argues Senator Mark Daly

    To achieve a united Ireland without a return to conflict requires northern society to resolve the problems of its communities that contain deep-seated deprivation and alienation, argues Senator Mark Daly. Mark is the former chair of the Oireachtas Good Friday Agreement Implementation Committee and was interviewed for the latest Forward Together podcast shortly after the release of his report, ‘Returning to violence as a result of a hard border due to Brexit or a rushed border poll: risks for youth’.

    Mark explains: “This report I did in conjunction with two UNESCO chairs who are experts in preventing violent extremism and they make the point that most kids would never get involved in any of that. But that was the same during the Troubles - most people were not involved in armed conflict on either side. But it didn't take much more than a few people to create a huge amount of harm to the whole society.

    Listen on for the full interview.

  • EPISODE SUMMARY

    Community planning provides a model that builds on the tradition of the “very strong community spirit that prevailed in Northern Ireland” during the Troubles, argues Aideen McGinley in the latest Forward Trust podcast. McGinley is a trustee of Carnegie UK, co-chair of its embedding wellbeing project in Northern Ireland and a former senior civil servant.

    Aideen stresses that we need to be positive rather than fearful as we look to the future. “The bottom line is that people do not want to go back,” she says. Aideen reflects: “I was at an event in Leeds in May with four parts of the civil service across the UK and there was a very interesting workshop on Northern Ireland where a professor from Queen’s University put forward the point that the Good Friday Agreement is a very good agreement. It was an international agreement that took five years to negotiate, with multi strands based on the principle of consent. In fact, he felt that in the current Brexit devolution situation it’s something the rest of the UK should look at as a model of best practice…. I think what we’re missing at the moment is the leadership.

    Listen on to hear the full conversation with Aideen.

  • EPISODE SUMMARY

    Politicians in Northern Ireland feel threatened by the concept of a strong civic society, but we should pursue the ambition of creating a ‘People’s Assembly’, argues Lord Robin Eames, the former Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland. Robin was interviewed in the latest Forward Together podcast.

    “We’re at a very delicate stage where our society is beginning to learn that the party politic regime doesn’t necessarily reflect their deepest concerns,” he says. “I’m talking about health and education and social issues. What I think is appearing in Northern Ireland is a gulf between the way in which elected politicians are trying to represent views in which they’re not really in touch with the vast majority of society.

    Listen on for the full interview.

  • EPISODE SUMMARY

    ‘Brexit means that Northern Ireland’s constitutional future has become an issue for Europe’, says Denis Bradley

    Denis Bradley was keen to move on in the latest Forward Together podcast interview to discuss the constitutional position of Northern Ireland. “Well that's the one that intrigues me because I don't know the answer!,” he says.

    “First of all I think something very important happened within the last couple of weeks and has not received attention. And that is that the Europeans have said if there a no deal situation we will still have to deal with the Northern Ireland situation. That's a massive movement.”

    Denis insists that he does not believe that the re-imposition of a hard border is possible.

    Listen on for the second part of the conversation with Denis.

  • EPISODE SUMMARY

    Eames-Bradley process ‘should have done more to take the Irish government with it’ – says Denis Bradley

    The Eames-Bradley process should have engaged more closely with the Irish government and ensured it was on board with the recommendations, says co-chair Denis Bradley in the latest Forward Together podcast. Eames-Bradley – properly called the Consultative Group on the Past – was published more than a decade ago and was intended to provide a way of dealing with the past and the needs and concerns of victims and survivors.

    Denis says “I do [think the] report itself is an extremely good report. One of the worries when you do a report is that you think, was there a big pothole that we didn't see coming? That hasn't happened. The report has been incredibly good in that sense. The difficulty with the report is that there was only one government involved. I think that was a major mistake and I blame myself to some degree for that.... Remember that was when the Celtic Tiger was beginning to explode. But even without the Celtic Tiger exploding, they [the Irish government] were so cynical around it they were very reluctant to engage. I pleaded with them to be engaged.”

    The latest podcast interview covers Denis’s reflections on civil society, creating a shared society and the past. A further podcast will be released later this week in which Denis discusses the constitutional future of Northern Ireland.

  • EPISODE SUMMARY

    ‘Looking at how we got here can help us deal with the present and the future’, argues historical geographer

    A better understanding of our history is important as a means of bringing our society together, believes Anthony Russell of the Thomas D'Arcy McGee Foundation. “One of the things that we have been trying to do in the Thomas D'Arcy McGee Foundation is to use history as a tool for reconciliation, rather than something that has to be fought over,” he explains. “Looking at how we got here” can help us to deal with the challenges we face today, says Anthony in the latest Forward Together podcast.

    “And one of the things we tried to do in the Thomas D'Arcy McGee Foundation is to identify myths and to challenge those myths in a variety of ways,” Anthony adds. That has involved performances of historical events taking place within religious settings in which those events are explained and placed in context. In doing so, they challenge the assumed connections between religious affiliations and political attitudes.

    Be aware - this episode has some background noise, especially at the start of the episode.

  • EPISODE SUMMARY

    Making progress on parading – can Northern Ireland learn from Derry-Londonderry?

    As Northern Ireland moves towards what will hopefully be a peaceful 12th July, the manager of ‘the Derry Model’, Maeve McLoughlin – a former Sinn Fein MLA – reflects on how peaceful parading was negotiated, after years of conflict and tension in Derry-Londonderry. “It was spurred on by a commitment to the city,” she says, “and by people who genuinely wanted to be in a better place.

    “That was the feeling of the Apprentice Boys as well. They love the city. They want the city to be perceived and presented in a very positive light. There is no doubt that the demographics, the largely republican/nationalist city, spurred on those conversations. It was also that when you have rights, you also have responsibilities.”

    The Derry Model is a conflict transformation peacebuilding project, which seeks to spread awareness of the city’s success in addressing its historic problems over parading – which used to lead to the city centre being virtually closed down during parades. Progress was achieved through extensive negotiations, compromises and recognition of both rights and responsibilities. Maeve explains the work of the Derry Model in the latest Forward Together podcast.

  • EPISODE SUMMARY

    ‘We need an agency to promote social integration’, says Father Martin Magill

    Northern Ireland needs a body lobbying for social integration, learning from the success of the Integrated Education Fund in its work promoting integrated schools, says Father Martin Magill. Without an agency pushing the integrated housing agenda, it will be difficult to make sufficient progress, he says. Martin was interviewed in the latest Forward Together podcast.

    “I grew up living in a neighbourhood where my next door neighbour was Presbyterian; further on down the road Church of Ireland; further down the road, Methodist,” recalls Martin. “We were various Christian denominations. My home area is people living side by side. For me, that's one of the most important things. I'm aware, for example, of the Integrated Education Fund and we hear a lot of that. I hear nothing to the same degree on encouraging integrated housing. And I really would like to see the likes of integrated neighbourhoods.”

    Listen on for the full conversation.

  • EPISODE SUMMARY

    New way of consulting with civic society is part of the talks negotiations, discloses Naomi Long

    Creating a new mechanism for consulting with civic society is part of the talks negotiations aimed at getting Stormont back, Alliance Party leader Naomi Long has disclosed. Naomi is a newly elected MEP, former MP and has just resigned her role as an MLA. She was interviewed in the latest Forward Together podcast.

    “We need to find a role for engaging with civil society,” suggests Naomi. “I think there is a lot of good work that goes on in our communities. And as elected representatives, we're all very conscious of that. But I don't think we ever really lived up to the objective of finding a proper mechanism through which those of us who were elected members of the community would be able to formally engage with civic society.”

  • EPISODE SUMMARY

    ‘Social integration begins with integrated education and integrated housing’

    For Northern Ireland to become more integrated, there has to be a greater focus on integrated schools and integrated housing, argues the chief executive of the Integrated Education Fund, Tina Merron. She was interviewed for the latest Forward Together podcast.

    “I think the majority of people in Northern Ireland want a shared future and a united community,” says Tina. “We need to give civil society more of a say. We need to encourage people to speak up and especially young people. And then when we do get them to speak up, we have to listen to them. "

    LISTEN ON FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH TINA