The Corrymeela Community have announced the appointment of Pádraig Ó Tuama as its new leader. Padraig brings a wealth of experience from his work in poetry, theology and conflict transformation around the world.
The Rev Ray Davey founded Northern Ireland’s oldest Peace and Reconciliation Community in 1965. Along with a group of students from Queens University he established a residential centre in Ballycastle where people of all faiths, political opinions and backgrounds could come together to meet and learn from each other.
Pádraig will work closely with Executive Director Colin Craig and the staff team to run programmes of respite, encounter, dialogue and reflective learning for the 11,000 visitors that come through the Ballycastle Centre each year. He will represent Corrymeela in current public debates and build relationships with church and faith communities in Northern Ireland and beyond.
“For nearly 50 years the Corrymeela Community has promoted peace building and reconciliation from a Christian faith perspective. Current divisions within society reinforce the importance of that work. Members of the Community are delighted that Pádraig has accepted our invitation to be our new Leader. Pádraig has the skills and experience to build on the work of previous Leaders as we seek to fulfill our vision of embracing difference, healing division and enabling reconciliation.”
John Hunter, Chairman of the Corrymeela Council
“Padraig will bring great vision and experience to Corrymeela and I am very excited about working alongside him. In the current political impasse in Northern Ireland the principles of inclusion, dialogue and respect are needed now more than ever as we build a shared future for all our people.”
Colin Craig Executive Director of Corrymeela
The Corrymeela Community
The Corrymeela Community is an Ecumenical Christian Community committed to the work of reconciliation both locally and internationally. In 1965, the Reverend Ray Davey and a group of students from Queens University established a residential centre in Ballycastle where people of all faiths, political opinions and backgrounds could come together to meet and learn from each other. When the Troubles broke out, Corrymeela responded by offering respite in the new Centre for all who needed it, eventually developing programmes and a network of Community members throughout Northern Ireland.
The Community now has a membership of over 160 and a global network of 2500 Friends. Many of the Corrymeela Community members continue to have significant involvement in the work of the Ballycastle centre, along with living out the Corrymeela ethos in their day–to–day lives. Corrymeela also employs approximately 30 staff and over 50 volunteers from across the globe on an annual basis. Their role is to offer hospitality and support programmes of respite, encounter, dialogue and reflective learning to the over 11,000 visitors that come through the Centre each year.
At the core of their programme is the commitment to work for reconciliation and social justice. Whilst a core thrust of their work remains focused on programmes at the Ballycastle centre, they are also actively engaged in a wide range of community based programmes across the education, youth, community and faith based sectors both locally and internationally. They will celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2015.