Ballycarry event focuses on reconciliation

Valerie Beattie with the panel - from left: David Scott, Rishi Kunwar, Steven Jaffe and PJ O'Grady.  INCT 49-744-CON
Valerie Beattie with the panel - from left: David Scott, Rishi Kunwar, Steven Jaffe and PJ O'Grady. INCT 49-744-CON

War, conflict and reconciliation were in focus during a panel discussion in Ballycarry Community Centre on Monday evening.

The Conflict and Reconciliation event was supported by the Community Relations Council and tackled topical issues surrounding reconciliation after conflict, remembrance and remorse.

The panel comprised of retired school principal PJ O’Grady, from North Belfast, along with Steven Jaffe of the Belfast Jewish Community and Northern Ireland Friends of Israel.

Also on the panel were Rishi Kunwar, who spoke of conflict and peace developments in Nepal, and David Scott, community education officer of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.

Each member spoke of their own personal journeys in relation to issues of conflict and a wide ranging discussion followed.

The event was chaired by Dr David Hume, who commented: “We had thought-provoking contributions on Hindu, Jewish and Christian views on reconciliation.

“Big, big issues [were] being discussed. Reconciliation is difficult but can take place, as Rishi Kunwar and Steven Jaffe highlighted from their different perspectives regarding Nepal and Israel.

“There was a most informed debate and wide ranging contributions, and also questions from the audience.

Meanwhile, Ballycarry and District Community Association chairperson Valerie Beattie thanked all the panellists for their contribution on the night.

“This was a really interesting evening with major issues being discussed which are extremely relevant in our modern society,” Mrs Beattie said.

Next week the series of Community Relations Council-funded events comes to an end.

The final event will focus on the history of the 6th Connaught Rangers from West Belfast during the First World War, and will examine how their story has been revived in recent years.

The presentation by Sean O’Hare takes place on Monday, December 7 at 7.30pm.

The Community Relations Council was formed in January 1990 as an independent company and registered charity.

It was set up to promote better community relations between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland and, equally, to promote recognition of cultural diversity.