NIACRO launches Get Real project

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Mark Johnston (NIACRO Get Real), left, with Eithne McIlroy (PBNI), Donnie Sweeney (NIACRO), Paul Sheridan (SEUPB), Professor Paul Iganski (Lancaster University), Ursula Fernee (Probation Service Ireland), Nandi Jola (Nandi Project). Front: Olwen Lyner (NIACRO)

A Northern  Ireland charity, which has been working for almost 50 years to reduce crime and its impact on people and communities, has launched a new project which is aimed at restoratively challenging hate crime.

NIACRO’s Get Real project (a PEACE IV funded, three-year project) supports those over 18 who are involved in hate crime, their victims, and those vulnerable of involvement in hate crime, to acknowledge the hurt and damage caused and to move forward with greater understanding and hope.

Speaking at the recent launch, Professor Paul Iganski, Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Lancaster University said: “It is important to have a holistic approach to addressing the harm of hate crime, particularly with regard to the placing the victim’s experience at the heart of the restorative process.

Welcoming the project Gina McIntyre, CEO of the Special EU Programmes Body, said: “This project will challenge prejudice and intolerance by identifying the underlying issues which cause people to become intolerant. In doing so it will help to reduce sectarian and racially motivated crime. It also reflects the core
ethos of the ‘Building Positive Relations’ objective of the EU’s PEACE IV Programme, which has been designed to help create greater levels of community cohesion.”

Get Real works across Northern Ireland and in the border counties in the Republic of Ireland. The Get Real team are already working in Ballymena, Coleraine, Belfast, Dungannon, Portadown and Derry to build positive relations and to increase community cohesion.

You can find out more about Get Real at www.niacro.co.uk/get-real.

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