Peace of Mind - IFI funded Project for Clones

Peace of Mind is an IFI funded project which is run by Clones Family Resource Centre. The Project aims to build cohesion within and between communities.


The Clones "Peace of Mind" project will work with individuals, families and community groups from the local area and through facilitated discussion, events, training and networking will rebuild relationships across the border and across the community divide, promoting reconciliation, mutual understanding and learning between communities.

Oak Healthy Living Centre in Lisnaskea has joined with Clones FRC as a cross-border partner and will support the project through recruitment of participants and project delivery. The eighteen month project commenced in June 2016 and incorporates a broad range of activities that will be of interest to men, women and children of all ages.  The Peace of Mind programme includes:

  • Decade of Commemorations:  People will be challenged to face their prejudices (The talk on the Somme which took place after the launch event today is part of this element). This will involve a series of talks and trips.
  • Up-skilling women:  Women will be given accredited training opportunities to progress into employment and their confidence levels will have increase
  • Parenting Group:  The group members will mix with others from diverse community backgrounds that they normally would not meet or speak to. Already connections have been made and joint training has taken place between the Clones and Lisnaskea groups.
  • Children’s Camps:  Children will have the chance to meet other children from different faith schools that they normally would not mix with which will hopefully lead to the formation of friendships. Over 100 children from over 12 primary and 3 secondary schools have participated in this element of the project so far.
  • Older Women, Celebrating Difference:  Women will have a better understanding and respect for other faiths and cultures. Over 50 older women have already taken part in the element of the project. A number of these ladies have not engaged socially in the community for various reasons for many years. Bringing people out of isolation is a huge part of this project.
  • Men’s Shed Cross Border with Oak Healthy Living:  the men will learn new skills and begin conversations with other men that they have not previously met from different religious and cultural backgrounds. Already Clones and Lisnaskea men’s sheds have undergone basic IT training, picture framing skills, diversity awareness training and have travelled to Belfast together for the National Men’s Shed Conference.
  • Mediation / Conflict Resolution:  The participants will benefit from accredited training to give them a new skill set which can be used to great advantage in their local border community
  • Cross Border Mental Health Programme with Oak Healthy Living:  Participants will be trained in new skills and understanding of mental health which will be of great benefit locally.  Change in attitudes to those suffering from mental health issues. The Open Mic events that are being run add a social element to the programme and provide an event that crosses all generations, abilities and communities.\

This project aims to rebuild the relationships and natural linkages between organisations, groups and families in the Clones area and its environs, which were damaged during “the Troubles”. I have no doubt that this project will leave a lasting positive legacy for the people in Clones and its environs. I wish everyone involved in the project continued success”.

Mr Peter McAleer, Chair of Clones FRC said the Peace of Mind project addresses reconciliation by bringing both sides of the community together through common interests and brings communities together to help them move forward together to heal on-going divisions to the benefit of those living in the local area and its natural hinterland. As many of you will know, the project commenced last June and we have already successfully undertaken a number of activities which I am pleased to say attracted strong participation. On behalf of Clones FRC and our community, I would like to thank the International Fund for Ireland most sincerely for its funding support, without which, we could not have undertaken this project”.

Following the formal launch of the Peace of Mind project, noted historian Dr. Johnston McMasters delivered an enlightening lecture on ‘The Somme in Global Context’, part of the Decade of Commemoration series of talks and discussions.

New book celebrates success of Peace of Mind project

Local residents and community representatives from the Clones area and surrounding cross border areas in Co Fermanagh gathered in the Ulster Canal Stores this evening for the launch of “Peace of Mind”, a booklet celebrating the successes of the cross-border, cross-community project. Led by the Clones Family Resource Centre and funded by the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) under its Peace Impact Programme, the project, which began in 2016 and is nearing conclusion, involved a range of initiatives to foster greater understanding and acceptance of diversity between communities, and build employment skills.

The project worked with individuals, families and community groups from the local area. Through facilitated discussion, events, training and networking it sought to rebuild relationships across the border and across the community divide, by promoting reconciliation, mutual understanding and learning between communities. Since it began in 2016, its many notable successes have included:

The Decade of Commemorations - where people were challenged to face their prejudices, with core aspects of the past explored through discussions, cultural events and trips;

Dream Dare Do - provided networking and upskilling opportunities for women, which has led to the establishment of the Clones Hens’ Shed;

Different Keys – the establishment of this 40-strong cross-border, cross-community inter-generational choir which has already performed at a range of events within the area;

Positive Mental Health Conference – this event was one of a number of mental health initiatives undertaken in partnership with the Oak Healthy Living Centre in Lisnaskea;

Parenting programmes – The Peace of Mind project also supported Clones Baby & Toddler Group and the Clones Parenting Group through upskilling and capacity development initiatives;

Mediation /Conflict Resolution – seven people have been trained as accredited mediators and are now volunteering within the local border community;

Launching the booklet, Allen McAdam, International Fund for Ireland Board Member congratulated the community on the success of the Peace of Mind project. “The story of Clones and the surrounding hinterland, an area that has been severely disadvantaged socially and economically over many decades, is all too familiar across the border region. Now, thanks to the cross-border, cross community approach taken to addressing the issues and challenges it faced, and continues to face, this town and the surrounding area is changing its own narrative.

“As this booklet highlights, the story of Clones today is one of positivity, a community that is being transformed socially and economically. Clones is demonstrating what can be achieved through collaborative efforts that empower individuals and help build sustainable relationships on a cross community, cross border level. We are delighted to have supported this wide-ranging project,” he said.


Although only formed since September 2018 the Different Keys Choir have been going from strength to strength. Established under the Clones Family Resource Centre’s ‘Peace of Mind’ IFI funded project the members hail from many sectors of the community in the environs of Clones, including Newtownbutler, Roslea, Lisnaskea and even Ballybay and Monaghan Town. The choir was formed to provide a means to more positive mental health in the community. It actually has gone on to provide so much more than individual well-being – in fact the members seem to lift the spirits of others whenever they perform. Group singing is the most exhilarating and transformative of all forms of singing. Singing both soothes your nerves and elevates your spirits. Research has also shown that heartbeats synchronize when a group sings together. In these times of hardship, despair, inner and outer conflicts what better way to bring people together to literally create ‘harmony’ and in doing so also bring about inner peace and well-being. Different Keys Choir has currently a membership of 34 individuals. Through fortnightly sessions with their choir director, Lynn Sullivan they have broadened their musical horizons to sing compositions they may never have even listened too! To date the choir have performed at events in Clones which include such venues as Clones Library, The Peace Link, and St. Tiarnachs Church of Ireland. They are delighted to be performing in Íontas Theatre, Castleblayney as part of the Monaghan Arts Network’s road showcase event.