PEACE III Community History Project

The PEACE III Programme is a distinctive programme part-funded by the European Union through its Structural Funds programme.

The full title of the PEACE III Programme is the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland. The programme covers the period 2007-2013.

The main aims of the PEACE III Programme are to reinforce progress towards a peaceful and stable society and to promote reconciliation by assisting operations and projects which help to reconcile communities and contribute towards a shared society for everyone.

Down County Museum’s PEACE III Community History Project

Phase 1 of the museum’s PEACE III community history programme concluded in July 2011.  Between April 2010 and July 2011 over 20 community groups from Down, North Down and Ards participated in a project which aimed to create positive cross-community engagement through facilitating the exploration of shared and diverse local history and heritage by the organisation of interactive and collaborative learning activities. The project promoted awareness of how the diverse and shared cultural contexts of the areas of Down District, North Down and the Ards, have created contemporary cultural and social identity and enabled groups to learn more about themes and topics which have had an impact on current social and political issues, and to develop positive relationships within and between groups in Down, North Down and the Ards.  During the course of the project the following outcomes were achieved:

  •        21 study visits to historical and cultural sites and centres were undertaken
  •        48 workshops were delivered
  •        5 community films were produced
  •        8 booklets were produced
  •        3 leaflet type publications were produced
  •        2 exhibitions were produced
  •        55 oral history interviews were undertaken. 
Phase II
The museum has received funding to deliver a phase II project. This will conclude in September 2014.

Priority:  Building Positive Relations
Theme:  To promote shared and integrated communities within the cluster, to address divided living, through community animation programmes.

  • to build positive relations between and within communities in Down, North Down and the Ards, through participation in a range of learning programmes
  • to explore issues of cultural/community identity and diversity
  • to examine the roots of contentious and disputed areas of history
  • to promote learning about the beliefs, customs and traditions of different communities
  • to explore the part played by local people and communities in world, national and regional movements and changes
  • to build on the positive outcomes achieved by our Phase 1 programmes
  • to enhance further cross community initiatives and create further opportunities to address issues of sectarianism and racism
There are 5 strands to the project:
  • Strand 1: County Down 1900s-1920s
  • Strand 2: Religious and cultural identity
  • Strand 3: Intergenerational projects
  • Strand 4: Ballynahinch, history and culture
  • Strand 5: Crime, punishment and justice in the past and today
Activities for groups include:
  • study visits to historic and cultural sites, museums, places of worship
  • courses on Irish history, religion and cultural identity
  • talks on a variety of topics
  • workshops/training  in cultural diversity, multicultural awareness, traditional skills, local history
  • opportunities to contribute to and create exhibitions, booklets, leaflets and other resources
  • opportunities to take part in oral history interviewing
  • making films and recording information/memories
For more details contact PEACE III Project Co-ordinators Danielle Smyth or Shirley Lennon, or