Robin Barnett CMG, UK Ambassador to Ireland, spoke warmly about the role of integrated education as he welcomed IEF supporters to a special event at his Dublin residence.
The Ambassador hosted a reception for the Fund at Glencairn House yesterday evening (Thursday 05 July), where he paid tribute to Baroness May Blood, IEF Campaign Chair, who retires from the House of Lords later this month.
Telling guests that she will continue her work in support of the charity, May presented the IEF’s strategic vision, Integration Works for Everybody, to the gathering.
The IEF is committed to empowering parents and communities to engage in the growth of integrated education, and the Baroness said:
“For many years we have had a shining example of how people of all backgrounds, beliefs and traditions can come together in a quality educational environment – in integrated schools. It’s time this was extended throughout our education system. The IEF is immensely thankful for the support we receive across these islands for our work and I am extremely grateful to Ambassador Barnett for hosting this event today.”
The invited audience included representatives from the world of business, politics and community organisations from across Ireland as well as past pupils of integrated schools. The visitors were entertained by music from the Forge Integrated Primary School choir who travelled from Belfast for the occasion.
Welcoming his guests, Ambassador Barnett said:
“Integrated education is an essential part of the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement which was supported by a majority of citizens, both North and South. I want to pay tribute to the sterling work and leadership shown by Baroness Blood who has worked tirelessly for integrated education for many years. I have had the privilege to get to know her through the work of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly and I’ve witnessed her commitment to this important issue. Her passion and energy will be sorely missed in Westminster, but I am delighted she will remain Campaign Chair of the IEF.”
Integration Works for Everybody can be found here: www.ief.org.uk/resources/publications
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