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Welcome boost to Bridge of Hope Transitional Justice programme

Welcome boost to Bridge of Hope Transitional Justice programme


Bridge of Hope, a programme of Ashton Community Trust, is gearing up to welcome the Transitional Justice Institute and its annual international Summer School students tomorrow (Wednesday June 19).

The summer school is coming to the McSweeney Centre to learn more about Bridge of Hope’s grassroots based transitional justice programme and to hear from past participants.

The Summer School brings together practitioners, academics and postgraduate students from around the world to share in a week long programme of interactive seminars and workshops. International participants from countries such as Austria, Colombia, Iceland, Israel, Kenya, the Philippines, Sweden and the United States will join local participants to exchange knowledge and experience.

In recent years Bridge of Hope and the University of Ulster’s TJI have worked together to deliver transitional justice activities with communities from Falls Women’s Centre, Shankill Women’s Centre, Mount Vernon, Tigers Bay and New Lodge. This has been supported by Eilish Rooney, Associate of TJI.

A report about this work and toolkit are available to download on

Transitional justice is a burgeoning area of study and policy, and gender is one of the most prominent sub -themes of transitional justice.

Issues of gender and conflict are becoming mainstreamed into the work of the United Nations, and gender inequality is increasingly being recognised as a factor in both causing and sustaining violent conflict.

The theme of this year’s programme is “Peace Negotiations, Peace Mediation and Influencing Implementation: Engaging Women and Gender.”

Bridge of Hope carried out a gender focused programme during 2012 exclusively with women from Falls and Shankill Women’s Centres. Former Human Rights Commissioner Monica McWilliams described this work as a ‘world first’ and has promoted it during her peace work with women in Syria.

Head of Victims Services at Ashton Community Trust Irene Sherry said she was delighted to see the summer school engage with the programme.

“I warmly welcome the summer school to Ashton Community Trust and to Bridge of Hope and I wish them all a great week here in Belfast. The relevance of transitional justice and its role in assisting the transition from conflict to peace is very important. The importance of this peace building work was highlighted this week by President Barack Obama who stated that while much progress has been made; there is still work to be done. Exploring where we came from and how we can rebuild after conflict are two areas of immense importance and through Bridge of Hope’s transitional justice grassroots programme we are directly enabling those hard conversations to happen.”

Speaking about the summer school TJI Director Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin said: “It is increasingly recognised that to resolve entrenched conflict women have to be at the table, central to negotiations, and engaged consistently in implementation. Our Summer School is central to knowledge exchange to ensure that happens both in Northern Ireland and elsewhere.”

The Summer School is taught by some of the leading experts in the world on issues related to women’s inclusion in conflict negotiations, conflict mediation, reparations and transitional justice including: Professor Monica Mc Williams, Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Dr Catherine O’ Rourke, Eilish Rooney and Dr Khanyisela Moyo. The Summer School this year also includes visiting speakers Mary McWilliams, Jane Gordon, Dr Aisling Swaine and Dr Sari Kouvo.


For more information about this work please see or telephone Irene Sherry on 028 9074 6737 or you can follow Bridge of Hope on facebook.

For more information about TJI follow: or follow @TJI_




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