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“Understanding irrationality to save the human race”: Lord John ALDERDICE

“Understanding irrationality to save the human race”: Lord John ALDERDICE
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
15 May 2019

The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen’s University Belfast hosted a spring conference in honour of the 10th anniversary of the awarding of an honorary degree to President Daisaku Ikeda (President, Soka Gakkai International (SGI)). The evening before the day conference was marked by the unveiling of a commemorative peace bench in the university’s quadrangle garden, as well as a peace tree in Botanic Gardens. With a welcome by Professor Hastings Donnan and introduction by Professor Richard English, Lord John Alderdice delivered a keynote speech in the Great Hall: “Respect and Understanding: Civil Paths to Peace”.

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@FactCheckNI

Beyond fake news: Working collaboratively to address misinformation #NICSLive

Beyond fake news: Working collaboratively to address misinformation #NICSLive
by Allan LEONARD for FactCheckNI
15 May 2019

FactCheckNI is becoming a regular feature of the annual NICS Live event, which brings together figures from across the Northern Ireland Civil Service as well as the wider public, private and voluntary sectors. This year was our third consecutive appearance, and I gave a presentation on “Beyond fake news: Working collaboratively to address misinformation”, discussing some key features of fact checking and the role that facts play in the political sphere of opinions and persuasion.

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@SharedFuture @SluggerOToole Essays Photography

Doing our part: Dealing with bonfires

Doing our part: Dealing with bonfires
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
9 May 2019

Greater Shankill Alternatives, which is part of a co-ordinating initiative on restorative justice across Northern Ireland, hosted a workshop session that explored various aspects of the tradition of bonfires and the organisation’s approaches of engagement with groups who construct these structures for annual celebrations. The event was supported by Belfast City Council and its DiverseCity good relations programme.

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@NorthernSlant @SharedFuture

Art in Trouble: Expressing Shankill’s story through creative participation

Art in Trouble: Expressing Shankill’s story through creative participation
by Allan LEONARD
28 March 2019

Billed as part of the Imagine! Festival, the Spectrum Centre hosted a European Arts Education Platform session, “Art in Trouble”, on how the people of the Shankill neighbourhood of Belfast have told their stories more recently, through a variety of participatory art. David Boyd (Beat Carnival) welcomed the approximately ten visiting delegations from Europe, and he put tonight’s event in the context of asking how any artistic intervention affects social life and social change.

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@NorthernSlant @SharedFuture

Burn/t Out: Crimes against social cohesion

Burn/t Out: Crimes against social cohesion
by Allan LEONARD
10 April 2019

One of the criticisms of the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement is that it did not satisfactorily scope out mechanisms for dealing with the legacy of the conflict in Northern Ireland; the focus was forging a consensus on exclusively non-violent means of pursuing politics. One form of violence during the Troubles was the forced displacement of some 45,000-plus people from their homes, whether through physically burning their properties or verbal intimidation. On the 21st anniversary of the Agreement, an art exhibition was launched at ArtCetera Studio. Organised by artist and filmmaker Casey Asprooth-Jackson and academic Brendan Ciarán Browne, Burn/t Out presents narratives and artefacts of Northern Ireland’s internally displaced persons.

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#TeamBev

Developing an esprit de corps to transform health and social care services

Developing an esprit de corps to transform health and social care services
by Allan LEONARD
4 April 2019

I delivered the following speech at a presentation on Integrated Care Partnerships, at a conference event, “Transformation: Paving the Way Forward”, organised by the Northern Ireland Healthcare Leadership Form (NIHLF):

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@SharedFuture @SluggerOToole

Media guidelines potential remedy for damaging past reportage

Media guidelines potential remedy for damaging past reportage
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
5 March 2019

The project team of “Victims and Dealing with the Past” at Queen’s University Belfast hosted a launch event of two complementary media guideline publications: one for victims and survivors of the Northern Ireland conflict on how to best engage with the media, and another for journalists, editors, and educators on how to best engage with victims and survivors and report on legacy issues.

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@NorthernSlant

Book review: Don’t Mention the War (Vicky COSSTICK)

Book review: Don’t Mention the War (Vicky COSSTICK)
by Allan LEONARD
5 March 2019

Don’t Mention the War is an e-book by Vicky Cosstick, published by ChangeAware in association with Northern Slant, that aims to explore aspects of legacy of the Troubles in Northern Ireland in a set of five chapters covering the peace process, women’s perspectives, trauma, the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, and the role of media during and post-conflict. Her research and writing took place between spring 2017 and autumn 2018, with regular references to the suspension of the Northern Ireland Assembly and the confidence-and-supply arrangement between the DUP and Conservatives in the current British Government.

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@FactCheckNI @SluggerOToole

Stephen NOLAN: Enhancing democratic debate in the era of fake news?

Stephen NOLAN: Enhancing democratic debate in the era of fake news?
by Allan LEONARD
26 February 2019

As part of their engagement programme, Queen’s University Belfast hosted a lecture by radio and television personality, Stephen Nolan, who was introduced by Ryan Feeney. Much of Nolan’s lecture was an autobiography of how he has developed his career in journalism and working for the BBC. His views on the topics in the lecture title — “Enhancing the Democratic Debate in the Era of Fake News” — were teased out during the question and answer session.

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@SharedFuture @SluggerOToole

Education: We all have a role to play

Education: We all have a role to play
by Allan LEONARD
7 February 2019

The Integrated Education Fund hosted a day conference on some aspects of education in Northern Ireland, with a discussion on what role individuals, local communities, and organisations can play in realising a better vision. Contributors included: Baroness May Blood (Integrated Education Fund (IEF)), Dirk Schubotz (Queen’s University Belfast), Mairead McCafferty (Northern Ireland Commission for Children and Youth (NICCY)), Eileen Chan-Hu (CRAIC NI), Maire Thompson (Hazlewood Integrated College), Jayne Thompson (ParentKind), and Charmain Jones (Rural Community Network (RCN)).

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@SluggerOToole

Country before party? A UUP book launch discussion

Country before party? A UUP book launch discussion
by Allan LEONARD
24 January 2019

At a launch event for the book, The Ulster Unionist Party: Country before Party?, there was a roundtable discussion with three speakers who all have or had involvement with the party — Mike Nesbitt (UUP Leader, 2012-17), Lauren Kerr (UUP Press & Policy Officer), and Alex Kane (former UUP Director of Communications). After their opening remarks, the audience pitched about a dozen questions on topics that ranged from unionist identity, Brexit, party electoral pacts, Catholic support, to party strategic choices and options.

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@NorthernSlant Essays Photography

Decisive moments at Belfast City Hospital

Decisive moments at Belfast City Hospital: A street photography exhibition by Tuck GOH
by Allan LEONARD
17 January 2019

At the Tower Gallery in City Hospital, I arrived with some time to spare in advance of the official start of an exhibition of street photography by Tuck Goh. I took a seat and watched passers-by — staff, patients, and visitors. There was a flow of activity not unlike that portrayed in some of the framed images hanging in front of me. Such images are captured with a camera eye trained to capture “the decisive moment”. I’m interrupted by a young woman pushing a young girl — seven or eight years old — in a specialist wheelchair, between me and an image of another younger girl outdoors with her parents. Snapshots of life wherever you look for it.