Ulster promotes peace on bomb site

November 17, 1995

A symbol of hope is to be created in a joint venture by the University of Ulster and Fermanagh district council near the site of one of the worst atrocities of the Northern Ireland troubles.

Enniskillen is best known in Britain for the Remembrance Day bomb in 1987, which killed 11 people. A Pounds 3 million interactive technology centre is to be built near the site of the explosion to promote community development.

The centre will be in an old Orange Hall which is to be refurbished by the end of next year. Staff will be supplemented by academics teaching part-time degree and professional development courses in areas such as enterprise development, tourism, business and equine studies, who will use distance-learning technologies such as video-conferencing.

The venture's announcement last week follows the recent opening by Queen's University of an outreach centre in Armagh, which also uses modern systems to teach part-time students. Queen's plans to open a similar facility in Omagh, County Tyrone.

Both universities hope that when the capping of full-time student numbers ends, they can expand their provision, especially for less mobile adults such as women with children.

UU has been active in Enniskillen for several years, with access courses at the further education college and telecommunications training under European Union initiatives.

"Our partnership with the county helps the inward investment profile of Fermanagh and encourages more community participation in the exploration of new technology-based opportunities," said vice chancellor Trevor Smith.

Professor Smith also said that the university had secured Pounds 200,000 over four years from the Northern Ireland Department of Education for a new project in the interactive technology centre called the Provision of Rural Outreach Education or PROCEED, designed to meet the learning needs of local people. Gerry Burns, chief executive of the council, welcomed the "clear university presence" in Enniskillen.

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