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QCAPtures - Recent News

Agreement 25: The Dividend of Peace for Local Communities

As current and former world leaders and the wider civic society in Northern Ireland gathered at Queen’s on 17-19 April to celebrate 25 years since the Good Friday Agreement, Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Greer, in his remarks which opened the conference, paid tribute to the work of QCAP:

 “Our inclusive approach also extends to community-based projects such as in The Market and Greater Shankill because we believe that partnership is key to the success of an inclusive society.”

The university’s, and QCAP’s commitment to supporting communities through research, engagement and innovation was also outlined in an Agreement 25 blog post by Ryan Feeney, Queen’s Acting Vice-President (Strategic Engagement and External Affairs):

“As a civic university and anchor institution in Northern Ireland, this includes contributing to socioeconomic progress for everyone in this region. We do this in a range of ways: as an employer, as an educator of tomorrow’s workforce, through research and development and community and public engagement…Ultimately, these contributions all boil down to one thing: our hope for the future of this place – combined with the belief that we have a role to play in helping to create that future.”

In the 25 years since the Good Friday Agreement, despite the dividend of peace, substantial economic and social inequalities still remain and this is reflected in QCAP’s recent podcast on the legacy of the Agreement, featuring discussions with Billy Drummond (Alternatives) and Fionntán Hargey (Market Development Association) on the lived experience of communities.

Social and class-based interfaces still exist post-Agreement and many inner city communities are given inadequate investment for the development of their wealth and prosperity, and greater structural regeneration is needed, as the new service-based trickle-down economy does not seem to benefit inner city areas.

The work of QCAP in the long term is vital to addressing the challenges of equity which still exist in working class communities in Northern Ireland and we remain committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for our communities through our research, engagement, partnership, brokering and facilitation of equality of opportunity for everyone.

Professor Ian Greer echoed this commitment on social media during the Agreement 25 conference when he said:

“This project [QCAP] and @ShankillZone are two of the projects that I am most proud of.  They embody the best of @QUBelfast”.