Key Dates in Co-operation Ireland's History
Formerly known Co-operation North, Co-operation Ireland was founded in 1979 by Dr. Brendan O'Regan. It was set up to improve North-South co-operation and in particular the economic links between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Since then, Co-operation Ireland has undertaken some remarkable and inspiring activities and has worked with hundreds of thousands of people.
This timeline records some of our most significant moments, activities and work over the past 35 years.
Key Dates in Co-operation Ireland’s history:
1979 – Co-operation North founded
1980 – Co-operation Ireland begins a series of publications on North – South Research
1981 – Co-operation Ireland USA founded
1982 – The Belfast office opens
1983 – Co-operation North launched 15 innovative cross border projects launched
1984 – Maracycle introduced – organised over 3 days, 1500 cyclists complete the return journey between Belfast and Dublin
1986 – Cross border Youth and Schools programmes introduced
1987 – The Co-operation North Innovation Awards presented at the European Technology Entrepreneurs Programme Venture Market
1989 – Co-operation North host North South economic co-operation conferences
1991 – Media programme for journalists introduced
1992 – Exchanges Programme introduced after the evaluation of Co-operation North’s Schools and Youth Programme
1995 – Her Majesty The Queen and President Mary Robinson become Co-operation North’s joint patrons
1996 – Co-operation North awarded contract to deliver a key cross-border element of the European Union Peace Programme.
1997 – Following her election as President of Ireland, Mary McAleese becomes Joint Patron
1998 – Co-operation North changes its name to Co-operation Ireland after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement
2000 – A Gala Concert for Peace at Royal Albert Hall, London in support of Co-operation Ireland, with headline artists including The Corrs, the Saw Doctors and B*witched participating
2001 – Co-operation Ireland awarded contract for delivery of EU Peace II Programme. The annual Student Journalism Conference introduced
2002 – The Local Authority All-Island Steering Forum established to encourage strategic sustainable approach to cross-border relationships
2003 – All-Island Pride of Place Competition introduced
2004 – Co-operation Ireland awarded contract for delivery of EU Interreg IIIA Programme. Senator George Mitchell receives Co-operation Ireland Peace Award
2005 – Her Majesty The Queen and President Mary McAleese attend celebratory dinner in Crosby Hall, London to mark Co-operation Ireland’s 25th anniversary
2006 – Arts-Link Programme introduced
2009 – The annual All-Island School Choir Competition begins. The Youth Leadership Programme introduced
2012 – Co-operation Ireland awarded contract to deliver the National Citizen Service Programme in Northern Ireland. Co-operation Ireland facilitates the handshake between Her Majesty The Queen and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness
2013 – Her Majesty The Queens singles out Co-operation Ireland in her state banquet speech during the State Visit of President Michael D Higgins to Great Britain
2014 – Co-operation Ireland celebrates its 35th anniversary