Layers of Meaning

A NEW programme of oral history training has begun to help communities such as Dundalk tell the stories of their past and sometimes troubled histories.

A NEW programme of oral history training has begun to help communities such as Dundalk tell the stories of their past and sometimes troubled histories.

The oral history training is being offered as part of the ‘Peace Process: Layers of Meaning Project’; an ambitious collaboration between Queen Mary, University of London, Trinity College Dublin, and Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) which has been supported with e1.1 million from the EU’s PEACE III programme.

Hugh Smyth from the Old Dundalk Society was one of 45 participants, 27 of whom recently flew to Queen Mary, University of London to undertake four days of specialist training.

“We are at the moment compiling some old films. We have identified some of the people in them who we can now go and interview. The oral aspect will put some flesh on the bones of the work I am undertaking,” said Mr Smyth.

“I have new found skills which will benefit the project and my organisation. The programme has showed me how to listen and how to ask the real questions to preserve our history for future generations.”

The second part of the course will be held at Altnaveigh House in Newry from April 30 - May 4 and the third part will take place at DkIT in September.

The programme is designed to equip participants with the skills and knowledge to carry out their own oral history projects; recording the recollections and stories about their communities, and the steps taken by local people towards peace and reconciliation.