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Young and old to meet at Ardoyne interface

Ardoyne community worker Paul McCusker

AN event in north Belfast will bring together young people from both sides of a volatile interface as well as older residents who have lived through the Troubles to discuss their hopes for the future.

The two groups from Ardoyne and Woodvale will meet to discuss their shared experience as part of Ardoyne Community Week.

Members of the Our City group, who range in age from 15 to 17-years-old, will take part in the event on Wednesday at the newly built Houben Centre, in the grounds of Holy Cross Church on the Crumlin Road.

It will take place yards from the contentious loyalist camp at Twaddell Avenue and comes amid growing community tensions in the area with repeated attacks on nationalist homes in recent months.

Community worker Paul McCusker said bringing older people who have lived through the conflict alongside the next generation will provide a unique perspective on how the community view their identity but also what their hopes will be for the future.

"We have about 30 young people along with pensioners from the Woodvale and Ardoyne attending, so it's an intergenerational discussion about different challenges faced in the past but also how people see themselves in day five years time.

"These young people have views and opinions, simply because of where they live and the things they hear and see. They are politicised as a result of their environment and bring knowledge, opinions and an outlook that our politicians should be listening to.

"Those negotiating our future could learn a lot from these young people", Mr McCusker added.

This event starts at 8pm.

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