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Posted on Wednesday 5 December 2012 by Conall McKee

On Thursday 29th November, Shelter NI held our annual Filor memorial lecture at the now redeveloped Crumlin Road gaol site. This was the second lecture organised by Shelter NI in memory of Lt Col C G H (Barney) Filor, MBE, ERD and given the success of the inaugural event in November 2011, we were delighted to have been able to once again host an event of this nature.

Crumlin Rd Gaol

'The Circle' interior of Crumlin Road Gaol


The purpose of the annual lecture is to celebrate the life of Barney Filor and to recognise the massive contribution he made over a number of years to the field of housing and housing related issues. It is also an ample opportunity to discuss current issues relevant to housing and homelessness and to bring together the various stakeholders and interested parties in order to stimulate debate.

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Lt Col C G H (Barney) Filor, MBE, ERD


Our guest speaker was Dr Duncan Morrow, Director of Community Engagement at the University of Ulster, where he works to develop the University’s partnerships with various groups and organisations across the community. He was also formerly Chief Executive of the Community Relations Council, an organisation tasked with shaping the discourse around the concept of a shared future.

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Dr Duncan Morrow, University of Ulster


The event was introduced Ray Cashell, Chairperson of Shelter NI, who began proceedings by welcoming the family of Barney Filor, present in the form of his wife Mrs Sarah Filor, and his son Seamus Filor. Ray also thanked them for their continued support and for allowing Shelter NI to continue to honour the name of Barney with our annual lecture. Ray then eulogised about Barney Filor’s life, his achievements, his many success and the legacy of his activist work in the housing sector, before introducing our guest speaker, Dr Duncan Morrow.

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Ray Cashell, Shelter NI, chairman


Dr Morrow’s lecture was focused on discussing themes around housing in a divided society and the struggle towards finding a solution to issues of multiple deprivation, poverty, and regeneration, which must all be examined through against a backdrop of segregation, separation, and often sectarianism between opposing communities.

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The topic of the redevelopment of Girdwood barracks was discussed and provided as an example by Dr Morrow of an area that can be used almost as a trial or a ‘test run’ that, if successful, could act as a possible future blueprint for social housing in interface areas. This naturally invoked much debate from the audience with questions from the floor further exploring the complexities that are present throughout this issue.

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Dr Morrow’s analysis was both extremely interesting and thought provoking, with the level of debate it stimulated amongst the audience being testament to that.

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Left to right, Sarah Filor, late wife of Barney Filor, Seamus Filor, son of Barney Filor, Dr Duncan Morrow, the speaker, Ray Cashell, chairman of Shelter NI and Tony McQuillan, Director of Shelter NI.

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