Co-operation Ireland Cork-Belfast Leadership Programme Launched

Gas Networks Ireland Launches Second Year of Co-operation Ireland Partnership

Co-operation Ireland Cork-Belfast Leadership Programme Launched

On 27 September the 2016 Co-operation Ireland Cork/Belfast Leadership Programme was launched in the Gas Networks Ireland headquarters in Cork. Now in its second year, the launch comes as part of Gas Networks Ireland’s three year partnership with Co-operation Ireland, the all-island, peace-building charity. Co-operation Ireland is the only cross border project of its kind. 

Since its establishment in 1979, Co-operation Ireland has worked with local youth organisations and the Cork Sports Partnership to facilitate leadership programmes for Cork youths from Knocknaheeny, Ballyphehane, Bishopstown and Cobh. The programme is designed to encourage the 24 participants, all aged between 15 and 16, to actively engage in their communities, developing their confidence and providing them with the tools to become positive role models in their community. Participants are recruited by their teachers and leaders in their local youth groups.

Liam O’Sullivan, Managing Director, Gas Networks Ireland, comments: ‘A focus on our local community has always been at the core of Gas Networks Ireland’s Corporate Responsibility Strategy. We are now in our second year of working with Co-operation Ireland and are delighted to support a project that develops positive relations among Irish young people and communities on a cross-community and cross-border basis. We are delighted to host the 2016 launch of the Cork/Belfast Leadership Programme in the Gas Networks Ireland headquarters here in Cork, where the programme provides a platform for young people in Cork to develop into leaders in their communities.’

Peter Sheridan, CEO, Co-operation Ireland: ‘With last year’s event being so successful we are delighted to be running this Cork/Belfast leadership again. The cross-border nature of the exchange ensures that these young people become more open-minded and have a greater understanding of other people’s cultures and life experiences.

Co-operation Ireland is extremely grateful to our funders Gas Networks Ireland, and the support of our Cork Committee, who enable us to offer these young people the opportunity to meet face-to-face, and develop their leadership skills’.

The leadership programme is run, under the same terms, in Belfast and the programme brings the groups, from both sides of the border, together so they can learn about each other’s traditions and cultural backgrounds, helping to build a society which is based on tolerance and acceptance of cultural differences.