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LILP Interface Policy Forum

Tuesday 9th September 2003


  • Angela Clarke – DSD
  • Neil Jarman – Institute for Conflict Research
  • Gráinne Kelly – Democratic Dialogue
  • Billy Leonard – INCORE
  • Dominic McCullough – OFM/DFM
  • Rab McCallum - Ardoyne Focus Group
  • Roisin McGlone – SICDP
  • Roisin O’Hagan – INCORE
  • Chris O’Halloran – Belfast Interface Project
  • Patricia O’Neill – Community Relations Council

Key interface needs/issues:

  • Lack of long-term thought-out strategy for interface areas
  • Lack of strategy to prevent/stop potential interfaces from developing
  • Lack of strategy to prevent/stop progression of interfaces from ‘soft to hard’ areas
  • Lack of holistic approach in dealing with interface problems
  • Lack of recognition for work being carried out at the interface areas
  • Difficulties with funding
      • long, drawn-out funding applications
      • funders main focus on bureaucratic accounting procedures, rather than the work the interface groups are carrying out
      • not responsive to local needs on the ground
  • Overall lack of statutory body/government ‘dealing’ with interfaces
  • Lack of co-ordination of plans for Belfast as a whole

What can be achieved?

It was acknowledged that the following 3 main areas need to be brought together to maximise effectiveness:

  • Funding
  • Key organisations/people who should be involved
  • Community

Other key points:

  • Civil servant/statutory officials – need officials with community experience
  • Weak infrastructure within the communities – any capacity that exists is being eroded e.g. workers committed to interface are on month-to-month contracts, no long-term security
  • The ‘quiet summer’ is a result of a tremendous amount of work – this amount of work is not always acknowledged.
  • Communities struggling to have a voice – ‘Shared Future’ – many people are not aware of Shared Future document
  • Conferences/workshops have been organised before with funders and statutory officials – Community Groups feel
    they are not being ‘listened’ to – community groups feel their input isn’t taken on board
  • 3 problems – the conflict, legacy of violence and lack of facilities – still need to be addressed
  • If there was a will the interface problems could be solved
  • Intra-community – problems with local leadership: e.g. infighting, which causes problems for intra-community relationships
  • Role of LSP’s – can they and if so should they have a key role in addressing interface issues?

Disclaimer: © INCORE 2010 Last Updated on Friday, 19-Mar-2010 15:50
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