Over the next decade we will mark the centenaries of major events in our history. Mindful of the capacity of history to inflame division there may be nervousness about commemoration. An important public event for all parts of the community, in The Clinton Centre in Enniskillen on 13th September at 7.30pm, will see historians and commentators Dr Brian Feeney and Prof Brian Walker look at the subject of the Ulster Covenant.
Making History Talk – Understanding the Ulster Covenant has arisen out of dialogue that has taken place between County Fermanagh Grand Orange Lodge, the Church of Ireland diocese of Clogher, as well as Enniskillen Methodists and Presbyterians. Out of this dialogue has arisen a desire to organise a series of public events that will promote greater understanding and good relations in the community.
The decade between 1912 and 1922 was a time of change, violence and loss of life for the people of Ireland. For better or for worse history has played a very significant and sometimes divisive role in our community. Making History Talk –Understanding the Ulster Covenant sets out to try and understand what was going on the mind not only of our own community but in the minds of the ‘other’ during key moments of our history – an attempt for each of us to walk in the other person’s shoes for a moment.
Good communication is not just about getting our point of view across. It is also about listening carefully to really hear what the other person is trying to say. Historians and commentators Brian Feeney and Brian Walker will use their skill to help us understand what was going on separately in the minds of the unionist and nationalist communities around the time of the Ulster Covenant. There will be an opportunity for questions and answers, facilitated by Doug Baker, formerly from the Corrymeela community.
Deputy Grand Master of County Fermanagh Grand Orange Lodge Stuart Brooker said, “Making History Talk is an opportunity for us to reflect on iconic history in a way that heals rather than divides”. He continued, “It is a mark of confidence to voice our own views of history. It is an even bigger mark of confidence to take time to hear another person’s viewpoint on the same events. It is not about agreeing or disagreeing but about increasing understanding – this is the pathway to good neighbourliness”.
Making History Talk will take place on Thursday 13th September in The Clinton Centre, Belmore Street, Enniskillen. It will begin at 7.30pm and admission is free. All sections of the community are warmly invited.