Press Releases


National Identity, Making Census of a New Northern Ireland

Rural Community Network (RCN) recently held a conference entitled 'National Identity, Making Census of a New Northern Ireland', as part of Community Relations Week.

This conference, funded by the Community Relations Council, took place on Thursday 23rd May at the White River Hotel, Toome, with 60 participants from a wide range of rural organisations across Northern Ireland. The format of the day included input from Derek Poole, LINC Belfast, who gave a contextual background to the importance of identity to those living in this part of the world.  Dr. Dominic Bryan, Queen’s University,  Belfast delivered a presentation on the recent Census figures from 2011 and a range of panellists from media including journalism and community development took a range of questions from the floor and gave their perspectives on how national identity is changing over time.

Charmain Jones, Good Relations Officer with Rural Community Network, commented, “This conference is only the starting point in what is becoming an ever increasing debate across Northern Ireland.  National Identity, in light of past events, underpins many of our thoughts and decisions we make on a daily basis and with the impetus of a new ‘Northern Irish’ identity, we were curious to discuss how, or if, this new identity was shaping generations now and generations to come”.

“RCN continues to endeavour to provide that space for interactive dialogue on topics and issues close to communities’ hearts and this conference was the stepping stone for further conversations like this in the future.”

To download the presentation delivered by Dr Dominic Bryan click here.

This conference also featured on BBC Newsline the very same evening as part of the footage discussing the new strategy on Together, Building a United Community.