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Northern Ireland Leaders to Speak in Jackson

October 7, 2015
two older men in ties and jackets standing beside each other
Northern Ireland’s the Rev. John Dunlop, left, and Tom Frawley will speak Friday, Oct. 16, at the Teton County Public Library in Jackson.

Two Northern Ireland government and religious leaders will discuss the challenges of building community amid differences during a brown-bag presentation Friday, Oct. 16, at the Teton County Public Library in Jackson.

The Rev. John Dunlop and Dr. Tom Frawley will discuss “Building Community Across Difference: Lessons from Northern Ireland” from noon-2 p.m. in the library’s Ordway Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Attorney and mediator Bill Schwartz will moderate the discussion, which is hosted by the Center for International Human Rights Law and Advocacy at the University of Wyoming.

“The dialogue will explore the challenges associated with any community where there are differences of perspective, identity and power,” organizers say. “Ultimately, the presenters and moderator will explore what lessons can be drawn from a place like Northern Ireland that can be of tangible use to other community leaders and advocates in other settings.”

The event is sponsored by the UW College of Law, the UW Department of Political Science through the Simpson Fund, the UW Center for Global and Area Studies, the UW International Programs office, the UW Center for Global Studies and Interconnections 21.

Dunlop has received multiple national and international honors for his service to community relations. A graduate of Queen’s University in Belfast and the University of Edinburgh, he was the minister from 1978-2004 of Rosemary Presbyterian Church in North Belfast -- Northern Ireland’s largest Protestant denomination. With the support and encouragement of the congregational leadership, he has exercised a wider ministry in efforts to improve relations between Protestants and Roman Catholics, encouraging each community to better understand the other’s culture and history.

Dunlop -- the recipient of honorary degrees from the Presbyterian Theological Faculty of Ireland, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Ulster and Queen’s University Belfast -- in 1993 received the "Cultural Traditions Award" recognizing his contribution to debate on cultural diversity within Northern Ireland. He received the E.H. Johnston Memorial Trust award in 2002 from the Presbyterian Church in Canada.

Frawley is the assembly ombudsman and Northern Ireland commissioner for complaints. He is the longest-serving ombudsman since the office was created in 1969. Following graduation from Trinity College in Dublin in 1971, he joined the National Health Service and, in 1973, was appointed unit administrator at the Ulster Hospital, Dundonald.

His career in health services later took him to North and West Belfast and Lisburn. In 1981, he became chief administrative officer in the Western Health and Social Services Board, at the age of 31, the youngest person in the United Kingdom to be appointed to such a post. In 1985, he was appointed as the board's general manager.

A series of fellowships led to health care study visits to the United States, Australia and New Zealand. In 1994, he led a Northern Ireland project team that advised on the development of the health service system in Zimbabwe.

Frawley received an honorary degree from the University of Ulster, where he served as a visiting professor of leadership in business and accounting. In 2006 and 2010, he was elected as the vice president of the World Board of the International Ombudsman Institute. In 2008, he was awarded the title of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth in recognition of his contribution to public service in Northern Ireland.

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