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Removing walls opens door to a new shared space – Fearon

9 August, 2016 - by Megan Fearon

Junior Minister Megan Fearon today highlighted the Executive’s commitment to removing interface barriers and structures of division as she addressed an audience at the New Lodge Community Festival.

The event, which was organised by Duncairn Community Partnership and Intercomm, included a panel discussion around the removal of peace walls.

Junior Minister Fearon said: 

“Through its Together Building a United Community strategy, the Executive is committed to reduce and remove all interface barriers by 2023.

“By removing a peace wall we open a door to a new shared space and I believe we should be ambitious in our efforts. Reconciliation has been hampered by physical divisions so to help build a truly shared, united and reconciled community, we need to put in place the conditions and circumstances to remove these structures.”

The Minister recognised the challenges in removing interface barriers and praised the courage of the community for their efforts. 

Ms Fearon added: 

“Taking down these barriers can only happen by engaging with, by building relationships with, and by seeking the consent and support of the people who live in their shadows.

“It takes courage to engage on such difficult issues, but the courage that many in the community have shown, and continue to show on a daily basis, can, and will change our society for the better.  Progress is being made.”

Concluding the Minister said: 

“The Executive will continue to support communities on this journey and I commend the excellent work of Duncairn Community Partnership which has been vital in shaping progress in north Belfast.”

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