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NORTHERN IRELAND

The Irish Canadian Society is a non-sectarian, all-Ireland group and this Web site contains information on both parts of the island. Northern Ireland's 'troubles' and their aftermath have caused many potential visitors to that beautiful area to have misgivings about the safety of travellers there. Hence, this separate section on Northern Ireland.

The Irish Canadian Society encourages people from each part of the island to visit the other part to broaden acquaintances and to enjoy the many beauty spots and activities that each has to offer. We encourage folks outside the island to visit both parts of it.

Travel in either part of the island is safe. Indeed, it is easier to cross the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland than the border between Canada and the United States. In fact, it is hard to know when the Ireland/Northern Ireland border has been crossed.

This site does not address the island's politics. Political developments throughout the island have a long and complex history with many, but not all of them, having religious overtones. As one begins to learn about them, it becomes increasingly clear that there is much more to learn and that few things can be taken without appreciation for their context. There are strong partisan views, but it is safe to say that on both sides of the border there is an overwhelming desire to live in peace.

Sir George Quigley, Chairman of Bombardier Aerospace (Northern Ireland), is greatly respected for his support for reconciliation in Northern Ireland and between Northern Ireland and Ireland. He spoke about reconciliation on the island on October 10, 2005 at the re-opening of the Canada Room, the principal reception and meeting room of the Glencree Centre for Reconciliation in County Wicklow.

Looking to the brightening future in Northern Ireland, he had sound advice for those who would contribute to progress, saying, "... we now need a massive investment in the generation of social capital - but not of the kind that bonds like with like. We have enough of that, reinforcing exclusive identities and homogeneous groups. What we need is the social capital that bridges the cleavages and generates broader identities and sympathies. It is not easy to create the social filaments in a society characterised by so much segregation in housing, work, education and sport. To do so will challenge all our creative energies."

ICS encourages you to read Sir George’s address and about the re-opening of Glencree's Canada Room (by clicking here) .

 
 
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