A community engagement workshop examining the transition of policing in Northern Ireland from RUC to PSNI is to take place in Cookstown next week.
The Rural Community Network will be holding a ‘Crows On The Wire’ (COTW) workshop on Wednesday, March 25th from 7pm-9pm at their HQ, 38a Oldtown Street, Cookstown.
The free workshop event will be facilitated by the Verbal Arts Centre based in Derry and use drama and social media to help engage in dialogue about the themes of the project which has received funding from the Reconciliation Fund, Department of Foreign Affairs.
The project was created by the Verbal Arts Centre in 2013 to explore the transition of NI’s police force from the perspective of those most directly affected, the rank and file officer.
The script, commissioned from writer Jonathan Burgess, toured NI as a theatrical performance in 2013, accompanied by post-performance discussions with panel members composed of former and serving police and security forces, former Republican prisoners, academics and journalists.
The COTW project aims to engage with individuals and groups from both main traditions affected by the themes of the play, creating opportunities both to listen to and recount experiences through a programme of community engagement.
Charmain Jones, Cohesion, Sharing and Integration Officer (CSI) with the Rural Community Network, encouraged participants from across the Mid-Ulster area to attend the workshop.
She said: “This cultural workshop acts a starting point to many stories from the Conflict/Troubles that people can relate to, from their own or a wider family circle perspective, in a supportive and encouraging environment.”
Mhairi Sutherland, Community Engagement Facilitator with the COTW project, explained: “This workshop allows us to generate conversations and reflections through the use of some of the stunning and dramatic video materials and short films which we have created from the live performances, edited from the original script by writer Jonathan Burgess.
“We are particularly pleased to be in Cookstown, one of the areas which we didn’t have the opportunity to visit with the performance in 2013, so now is an excellent opportunity for people who may have heard about the success of the COTW project through the media, to come along, participate themselves and have a really enjoyable, thought-provoking evening.
This cultural workshop acts a starting point to many stories from the Conflict/Troubles that people can relate to, from their own or a wider family circle perspective
“During the day we are holding a Drama Masterclass workshop with students at Holy Trinity College, Cookstown, and very much looking forward to meeting with the teachers and the young people, who will provide their own unique perspectives to the COTW project.”
All are welcome to attend next Wednesday’s workshop by emailing their details to
Charmain@ruralcommunitynetwork.org or contacting the RCN, Tel. 028 8676 6670. Refreshments and a buffet will be served.