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Clady Cross Community Festival a runaway success

Published: Wed, 15 Aug 2018
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The launch of the Clady Cross Community Festival 10K run
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Residents of the rural village of Clady outside Sion Mills are passionate about building solid cross community relationships.
We have been working with Clady Cross Community Development Association (CCCDA) to promote good relations among rural communities.  
They decided to host a Cross Community 10k run and fun day, which evolved into a weekend long festival, bringing neighbours together to reduce rural isolation and at the same time integrating and meeting neighbours of differing religions.
Launched on August 3rd, Clady Cross Community Development Association Chairperson, Barry Lafferty, said:
“It’s great to receive Community Cohesion funding from the Housing Executive to host our first cross community festival.  
"There’s a great sense of community spirit and excitement preparing for the weekend’s events, it’s going to be excellent.  We want to raise awareness of respect for different cultures and traditions, using the medium of sport and fun activities for all.
“It’s also a great opportunity to catch up with our neighbours and ensure residents are safe and well.  
"Social isolation in rural areas is a real issue and this weekend’s activities will help bring people together and build on future relationships for the next generations.”
The event saw crowds of people attending over the three days, with events such as a parade through the village, children’s sports day, Clady ‘Crufts’ dog show, a soap box derby, bouncy castles, tug o’ war and a marquee to host musical entertainment in the evening.
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The 10k run was also a winner, with over 100 people participating and Padraig McKinney taking first prize.
The Housing Executive’s Noel McNulty was there to award the trophy to the winning team of the tug o’ war, The Smugglers Inn.  He said:
“The Clady Cross Community Festival has been a real success story.
"It has reaffirmed relationships across the area, working in partnership to build stronger communities and respect diversity.  
"Everyone has enjoyed the weekend, keen to see more cross community events in the future.”