Peace-Building Summer School Armagh

Peace-Building Summer School offering learning opportunity for those working on conflict resolution Peace-building to explore the impact of the conflict on rural border community to achieve an OCN accreditation in Peace-building.

The Summer School is being led by Diversity Challenges

and University of Massachusetts Boston  Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance

and a partnership of:


West Armagh Consortium

Rural Community Network

The Development work on establishing the Summer School has been funded by Awards For All



Flower Market Armagh 2017

Today, Armagh City  and county is a friendly place with beautiful, historic stone buildings, cafes and restaurants and an optimistic outlook. However, during the past four decades of conflict, Armagh county was referred to as “bandit country” and in the later phases of the Troubles (the common name for the conflict in and about Northern Ireland during the late 20th century). Armagh also witnessed sectarian killings and was know as the “murder triangle” in addition there is a history of disputes over parades between local nationalist residents and the Protestant Orange orders drew world media attention.

After a bomb centre of Armagh 1970s

So, how did Armagh residents get from those troubled times to the present day where there is realtive peace and the marching season passes without major incidents? Are these disputes resolved or merely managed? How has the past conflict been remembered commemorated? What methods are used? What have local community activists got to teach the rest of us about how to move a community from a fraught, conflict- riven state to one where the summer parade season is no longer faced with a sense of dread?

Program overview

The summer institute will focus on the enormous achievements of local activists and agencies in bringing Armagh to its current state of peace, through years of community dialogue, negotiation and with the formation of new institutions and processes.

Representing a chance for participants to engage with local peace-builders, this ten-day program aims to deliver mutual benefits for participants and locals. Students learn about the Northern Ireland conflict, get an intimate perspective of the methods and practices used to address this dispute and in dialogue with local practitioners, and critically evaluate their effectiveness in Northern Ireland and their utility in other contexts.

The program will be led by Professor Marie Breen-Smyth, a native of Northern Ireland who has written extensively about conflict in Northern Ireland and elsewhere. The Institute’s faculty contains a range of experts and practitioners from Northern Ireland and the US and is organized in partnership with a consortium of Armagh community groups led by the  charity Diversity Challenges working on conflict resolution, reconciliation and storytelling . The local consortium will organize the logistics and participate in classes and visits. There will a mixture of local and international participants who are working on peace-building thus facilitating learning,  exchange of local and international perspectives and networking opportunities.

The ten-day institute will focus on the achievements of the past and the key contemporary challenges still facing peace-building in Northern Ireland:  dealing with the past and provision for victims: memorials; parading; flags and paramilitaries. The program will begin with a survey of the issues, with expert speakers on each topic and then focus in more detail on two of these issues: dealing with the past and parading.

Local participants can either stay in en-suite accommodation in the Charlemount Hotel or attend daily  and classes will be held in the hotel or on site at venues.  In addition, the program includes visits to Belfast, with a tour of the city’s peacelines and political murals.

Local participants can enroll for a dedicated Open College Network accreditation. The oragnisers have applied for funding for a number of bursaries and hope to be able to offer these to selected participants. This will be a competitive process and  details can be found on the application page on the web site.

Cost including accommodation at Charlemeount Hotel and OCN fees £1,600

Non residential but including lunches and OCN fees £900

For further information  go to web page where application form can be downloaded and there is frutehr inforamtion or contact Diversity Challenges e-mail: [email protected]



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Charlemount Arms Hotel
57-65 Upper English St
BT61 7LB