Glencree believes that conflict is inevitable but that violence is not. We all need to learn how to work with conflict so that it can be an opportunity rather than a problem that moves beyond our control and has negative effects. This requires skills, knowledge and understanding that can be learnt and practised and this is the goal of our learning programmes. We can tailor our programmes to meet specific needs.

Schools may want to work on communication skills, conflict resolution and dialogue so that students learn the skills to deal with difficult issues that arise. We can offer opportunities for Restorative Practice for problem solving and building better relationships in a safe space and also support leadership development for schools with prefect training. Issues such as commemoration and understanding the legacy of conflict in Ireland can also be explored sensitively in one day workshops.

Community organisations visit Glencree to learn about Alternative Dispute Resolution and practical approaches to working with conflict.  We use active learning approaches so that people have a chance to try things out and develop skills. There is also an opportunity for dialogue where challenging issues can be worked through with a facilitator to guide the process. The skills of listening, negotiation and understanding the dynamics of conflict are at the core to this learning process.

Universities can also benefit by exposure to the learning from Glencree programmes which offers them a chance to move beyond theoretical understandings and gain a better sense of how conflict has impacted on Irish society. We draw out some of the lessons of the Irish Peace Process and consider what we have to share in international contexts.