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Training Programmes

TRAINING PROGRAMMES      January 2019 Update

2017 – 2018 Traveller Mediation & Conflict Training Programme

The second Traveller mediation & Conflict Training Programme began in September 2017.
The programme was based in the Laois/Offaly ETB classrooms in Tullamore, with classes also held in the Kennedy Institute classrooms in Maynooth on a monthly basis.

TMS continued to coordinate the programme, with the support of LOETB and the Kennedy institute.

The Conflict Resolution Core tutor Catherine O’Connell worked with TMS on this module, and Dr Delma Sweeney was the lead on the Part 2 MII accredited mediation training sessions.

On the Inter-Cultural module, Thomas McCann continued to play a key role, with the support of TMS.

As part of this programme, (as well as part of a larger TMS/Garda Initiative), a one Day Workshop for Garda Ethnic Liaison Officers and students from the programme was held in Maynooth University on February 20th 2018 on the theme of Building Trust and Bridging Divides’.
Attendees included 14 Traveller participants, and 14 Garda participants.

During March 2018 programme classes were held both in Tullamore and Maynooth, with the final Part 1 class taking place in Tullamore on 3rd April.  Projects/assignments were collated and TMS worked with LOETB to complete folders into the required QQI format.

The Part 2 MII accredited Mediation training programme commenced on 1st May in Maynooth, and ran until 5th June, with 4 further days built in during June to practise skills using roleplay scenarios.  Part 2 MII assessments took place on 26th June with external assessors. Six students sat the assessments. The students had to complete and submit a self-assessment by the end of June.

5 students were successful in passing the MII accredited Mediation Training Course.

The QQI results were available in August, with the following results:

7 students were successful in achieving the following results from the LOETB QQI Level 5 modules:

  • Intercultural Studies: 5 merits, 1 pass; Conflict Resolution: 6 merits, 1 pass

A certification ceremony to celebrate the achievement of the students took place in Renehan Hall, Maynooth University on 14th November.

Prison Peer Mediation Programmes

Castlerea Prison
The Castlerea Peer Mediation Programme Part 2 was completed in February 2018, with  Lily Kavanagh continuing as a trainee facilitator for this course.

TMS also started a new programme in The Grove in Castlerea in January, in response to a request from the prison management and the ETB.

The programme was co-facilitated by panel members Caroline Nevin and Christine Joyce with the support of the ETB.

3 more of the prison peer mediation group who had completed the Part 2 Peer Mediation training underwent a competency assessment with the external assessor and all passed the assessment.

The Part 2 programme commenced in the Grove was completed, and external assessments took place on 21st May, with 3 participants passing the assessment.

A new introductory programme with 15 participants began in the main block on 16th April, but was interrupted as a result of Bank Holidays and the lack of availability of IPS staff.  The final session before the summer break took place on 28th May.

The Autumn Peer Mediation Programmes started in the main block and in The Grove on 15th October and were completed on 3rd December.

An Evaluative Review of the Peer Mediation programme in Castlerea is currently being conducted by external evaluator, Sean McGearty.

The report is due to be completed in January 2019.

The Castlerea Peer Mediation Advisory Group has been continuing to meet regularly in 2018 to oversee and support the development of the course and the roll-out of the Peer Mediation service in Castlerea.

Proposal to pilot an MMI accredited Mediation programme in Castlerea

  • A meeting was held with TMS and the Kennedy Institute re. the possibility of jointly piloting an accredited Mediation programme in Castlerea in 2019.
  • TMS brought this proposal to a meeting of the Castlerea Advisory Group in November 2018.
  • IPS and GRETB considered the proposal and agreed to fund this pilot programme in 2019.
  • A meeting to progress this initiative has been scheduled for 29th January 2019. 

Dochas  Prison

TMS started the Peer Mediation Part 1 Programme in Dochas on 17th January, with Panel member Mary McDonagh as the assistant co-facilitator on this programme.Two sessions of the Peer Mediation training took place in February.

The initial Peer Mediation training programme was not completed due to group changes.

After discussions with prison management it was agreed to re-schedule the introductory programme to run over 3 days in August 2018.

The3 Day Peer Mediation training took place on 14th, 15th, and 16th August.

4 women inmates attended the course ( all were Travellers).

Certificates were presented at the Dochas Summer Awards Event on 30th August.

Loughan House

TMS met with the Governor, ACO, Probation Officer, and ETB staff with Graham Betts Symonds from the Red Cross on 14th June in Loughan House.

The meeting was to discuss:

a)  Commencing a Peer Mediation programme for a group of Loughan House prisoners in October. It was agreed that TMS would run an information session in September for those interested in participating, and that the Peer Mediation training would commence in early October and run for 6 weeks.

b)  The ‘Prison to Community TMS and Red Cross joint initiative was discussed, and who might be possible recruits for the pilot from Loughan House.

The Peer Mediation Programme started on 18th October and was completed on 29th November, with 10 receiving attendance certificates.

All of the participants wish to continue to the Part 2 training, and dates have been agreed in January. 

 Midlands Prison

TMS contacted Midlands Prison and the IPS in March 2018 to look at possible dates for the introduction of Peer Mediation in the prison in 2018, but it has not progressed since then.

Cork Prison

 TMS delivered an introductory Peer Mediation session to a group of prisoners in Cork prison on 24th October.

A meeting with the Governor, ETB head teacher and other IPS staff was then arranged and took place in the prison on 28th November.

It was agreed that TMS would start the Peer Mediation programme in the prison in February 2019.

Arbour Hill Prison

TMS visited the prison and held an information session with a group of prisoners in October 2018.

Conflict Training Workshops/Cultural Awareness Training sessions delivered in 2018

  • A Conflict workshop and networking morning with Mincear Whidden was held in Newbridge in March 2018.
  • TMS and The Kennedy Institute held a ‘Traveller culture and conflict information workshop’ in Maynooth with Traveller mediation course students and Kennedy Institute students in March 2018.
  • Delvin Youthreach: TMS ran a morning training Workshop on ‘Conflict and Discrimination’ for a mixed group of young Travellers and settled trainees in May 2018.
  • TMS (Chris McDonagh and Frank Kavanagh) ran two TMS information mornings for groups of approx. 20 Gardai in Limerick and in Dublin, organised by Sgt Dave McInerney.
  • TMS Frank Kavanagh and panel member Lily Kavanagh ran a workshop on Managing Conflict for a group of Primary Healthcare workers in Mullingar.
  • TMS (Chris McDonagh and Frank Kavanagh) were guest speakers at a Garda Information morning held in Ballyfermot Garda Station on 30th August and organised by Sgt Dave McInerney. 12 gardai attended the session.
  • TMS held a meeting on 30th October with the Supt. and Community Sergeant, Mullingar Garda Station, followed by a group meeting with station gardai re. TMS work.
  • TMS (Chris McDonagh) gave a talk to potential new students for the Mediation Diploma and Masters Degree at the Kennedy Institute.