Published Tuesday, 16 October 2012
The new Davey Village at Corrymeela, close to Ballycastle. (© Corrymeela Community.)
The Davey Village offers accommodation and learning space for visitors to the centre, which promotes tolerance and mutual respect across religious and political divides.
Reverend Ray and Kathleen Davey established the Corrymeela Community in 1965 and it was led by Rev Davey until 1980.
For almost 50 years the north coast centre, which has 7,000 visitors each year, has been a safe space for meeting and dialogue for thousands of families, school children, and youth, church and community groups.
At the official opening on Tuesday, Rev Dr Inderjit Bhogal OBE, Leader and CEO of the Corrymeela Community, said: "Their inspiration has lead to almost half a century of peace-building and reconciliation work with thousands of people from all walks of like. This village will enable us to help others continue the journey towards a shared future."
The new facility includes a fully self-contained building sleeping up to 42 people with kitchen and dining facilities, audio visual equipment and en suite bathrooms.
During our most difficult of days Ray and Kathleen offered an early vision of how life should be.
Dr Adrian Johnston
First Minister Peter Robinson paid tribute to Rev Davey, who died earlier this year.
"The development of this £1.85m village is a very welcome achievement and is a tangible outcome of the Reverend Davey's vision which has been brought to reality here in Corrymeela," he commented.
"I am confident that this new residential facility will provide Corrymeela with the facilities it needs to continue the excellent work that it has been engaged in for nearly 50 years, helping build a better future," added deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.
The new addition was backed by a £1.25m donation from the International Fund for Ireland's Leaving a Legacy Programme, while a contribution from the Fitzpatrick Hotels Group and fundraising by the Corrymeela Community raised the rest of the cash.
Dr Adrian Johnston, chairman of the International Fund for Ireland, said the new village pays tribute to the life and work of the Daveys.
"For nearly 50 years now the Corrymeela Community has been at the forefront of promoting tolerance, respect, peace and understanding on this island and has become the epitome of all that the Fund stands for.
"This community resource is good news for anyone interested in pursuing peace and stability in Northern Ireland," Dr Johnston added.
© UTV News