Twitter Facebook Watch Raidio Mhacha Menu

Menu ×

24 Oct 2013

Gaol2Bhí breis agus 50 i láthair ag iarPhríosún na mBan in Ard Mhacha ar na mallaibh mar chuid de thionscadal Chomhar Éireann le pobail ón dá thaobh de theorainn Ard Mhacha agus Mhuineacháin a thabhairt le chéile. Is é Comhar Éireann an carthanas is mó sa tír a chothaíonn síocháin. Ceapadh iad le Tionscadal Líonraithe Trasphobail Mhuineacháin a chur i gcrích, tionscadal atá páirtmhaoinithe ag Ciste Réigiúnach Eorpach an AE tríd an chlár Suíocháin III agus atá á sholáthar ag Comhpháirtíocht Shuíocháin III Mhuineacháin. Mar chuid den tionscadal seo, bhuail CAIRDE Teo le Fóram Pobail Chluain Eois le sraith ceardlanna agus cuairteanna malartuithe a eagrú. I ndiaidh roinnt ceardlann pleanála, dhréachtaigh an dá ghrúpa sceideal malartuithe le go dtig le muintir Ard Mhacha agus muintir Chluain Eois tuiscint níos fearr a fháil ar oidhreacht chultúrtha agus stairiúil na gceantar.

Thug CAIRDE cuireagh d’Fhóram Pobail Chluain Eois teacht chuig turas treoraithe thart ar iarPhríosún Ard Mhacha, a bhfuil stair fada carcair thar 200 bliain aige. Thug Gearóid Ó Machail, a bhfuil céim sa Staidéar Sóisialta aige ó Ollscoil na Ríona agus taighde déanta aige ar an fhoirgneamh, thug sé cur i láthair ar an iar-phríosún a chlúdaigh an ailtireacht, daonra an phríosúin thar na blianta agus druidim an phríosúin in 1986 mar gheall ar an chonspóid a bhain leis. Thug an tUasal Ó Machail léargas ar an ról a bhí ag an iar-phríosún le linn na coimhlinte polaitiúla is déanaí agus labhair sé lena cuairteoirí faoi phleananna Chomhairle Ard Mhacha an príosún a fhorbairt mar scéim ilúsáide le hóstán agus spa, bialanna, miondíol, ionad oidhreachta agus tithíocht.

I ndiaidh an turais, tugadh cuireadh do na haíonna uilig freastal ar dhinnéar líonraithe ag Óstán an Charlemont, áit ar phléigh siad ábhair mar réiteach coimhlinte agus scéil agus cuimhní faoi Chluain Eois agus Ard Mhacha. Shuigh siad le hamharc ar scannán beag faisnéise dar teideal“Unseen Women: Stories from Armagh Gaol” – físeán as agallaimh a rinneadh ag an iar-phríosún in Ard Mhacha in 2006 don Prisons Memory Archive (PMA).

Ghabh na rannpháirtithe uilig buíochas le Comhar Éireann as an dá ghrúpa a thabhairt le chéile agus an deis a thabhairt naisc níos láidre a chothú idir Ard Mhacha agus Muineachán. Labhair Cathaoirleach CAIRDE Teo, Réamonn Ó Ciaráin, fán tionscadal:

Gearóid1“Ba phribhléid í bheith páirteach sa tionscadal seo de Chomhar Éireann agus fáilte a chur roimh ár gcuairteoirí as Cluain Eois . Bhí muintir Mhuineacháin, Ard Mhacha agus Lú mar chuid de cheantar Oirialla, ríocht ársa Gaelach, ach tá siad scartha anois mar gheall ar dheighiltí polaitiúla agus críche a cuireadh i bhfeidhm ar an oileán. Tá tuiscint níos fearr idir na pobail uilig ar an oileán seo riachtanach má tá muid chun síocháin agus athmhuintearas a bhaint amach. Tá muidinne ag CAIRDE Teo iontach sásta ár gcion féin a dhéanamh sa phróiseas seo. Tá mé ag súil go mór leis an turas a dhéanfas muid chuig imeacht pobail i gCluain Eois atá á eagrú ag Fóram Pobail Chluain Eois le cúnamh airgeadais ó Chomhar Éireann. Ba mhaith liom buíochas a ghabháil le Comhairle Ard Mhacha fosta as cead a thabhairt dúinn dul isteach chuig an iar-phríosún agus le Óstán an Charlemont as an fháilte a chuir siad romhainn”.

Over 50 people gathered at the former site of Armagh Women’s Prison recently as part of a Cooperation Ireland project to bring communities on both sides of the Armagh-Monaghan border closer together. Co-operation Ireland is the leading peace-building charity on the island of Ireland. They have been appointed to deliver the Monaghan Cross Border Cross Community Networking Project which is part financed by the EU’s European Regional Development Fund through the Peace III Programme and delivered through the Monaghan Peace III Partnership. As part of this project, CAIRDE Teo, the Armagh City based Irish language cooperative, teamed up with Clones Community Forum to deliver a series of cross border workshops and exchange visits. Following a number of planning workshops involving both groups, a schedule of cross border exchanges was formulated in which the groups from Armagh and Clones would gain a better understanding of the cultural and historical heritage of their respective areas.

CAIRDE Teo invited the Clones Community Forum to a guided tour of the former Gaol in Armagh which has a history of incarceration stretching back over 200 years. QUB Social Studies graduate, Gearóid Ó Machail, who has carried out research on the history of the Grade B listed building, provided guests with a presentation that covered everything from the architecture of the Gaol, to the changing demographic of the prison population over the years, right through to the Gaol’s closure in controversial circumstances in 1986. Mr Ó Machail provided an insight into the role that the former prison had played in the recent political conflict and informed visitors of Armagh City and District Council’s plans to develop the Gaol as a mixed-use scheme of hotel and spa, restaurants, retail, heritage centre and residential development.

Sárán agus MáireFollowing the tour, guests were invited to a networking dinner in the Charlemont Arms Hotel where they availed of the opportunity to discuss issues around conflict resolution as well as  sharing stories and memories from the Clones and Armagh areas. Those assembled then settled in to watch a short documentary film entitled“Unseen Women: Stories from Armagh Gaol” – edited from interviews filmed on-site at Armagh Gaol in 2006 for the Prisons Memory Archive (PMA).

Participants praised the initiative of Cooperation Ireland in bringing the two groups together and expressed gratitude for the opportunity to promote closer integration and cross border community engagement. Chairperson of CAIRDE Teo, Réamonn Ó Ciaráin, commended the project:

“It was a privilege to be part of this Cooperation Ireland project and to host our visitors from across the border in Cluain Eois . The people of Counties Monaghan, Armagh and Louth were once united under the ancient Gaelic kingdom of Oirialla, but in more recent times have become separated by political and communal divisions on our island. Better understanding between communities across this island is the way forward in terms of peace and reconciliation. We are glad to play a small part in this process of engagement and integration. I look forward to our group’s forthcoming visit to a public event in Clones organised by Clones Community Forum with assistance and funding from Cooperation Ireland’s Cross Border Cross Community Networking Project. I would also like to express our gratitude to Armagh City and District Council for their permission to visit the former Gaol and to The Charlemont Hotel for their hospitality on the evening”.