COMMUNITY Restorative Justice Ireland (CRJI) have officially opened their new premises in the New Lodge.

Formerly based in the New Lodge Housing Office on the New Lodge Road, the group have acquired premises across the road at Pinkerton Flats.

CRJ aspires to build a tolerant, responsive and inclusive community by providing restorative justice services to local areas. 

Michael O'Hara, CRJI Chairperson, said: "A few years ago, we decided we wanted to enhance our provision in North Belfast by having a presence in the New Lodge.

CRJ Chairperson, Michael O'Hara

CRJ Chairperson, Michael O'Hara

"With the help of Gerry O'Reilly from the New Lodge Housing Office, we were able to get housed and was hands-on on getting the operation going at full pace.

"With the team growing and the service broadening, there was a requirement to get our own facility.

"We are particularly grateful to the Housing Executive and Gerard Flynn for his role in securing the new premises.

"Restorative practice is all about relationships, building them, maintaining them and repairing them when they go wrong.

"With the help of everyone, we can achieve a lot in North Belfast."

Lord Mayor, Councillor Tina Black, who attended the official opening said the new office would be of great benefit to the people of North Belfast.

"It is amazing to be here and see the new office opening," she said.

"I know from a personal level the work that CRJ do in West Belfast. CRJ has been delivering restorative practice for 24 years and has developed so much over the years to include training.

"CRJ does so much good and valuable work. The opening of the new premises is an excellent opportunity to provide a more extensive opportunity in North Belfast."

Sinn Féin MLA Carál Ní Chuilín, who attented the opening, said: "Delighted to attend the official opening of CRJI on the New Lodge Road. They have been a vital service to the community and will be in the future ahead."

You can contact CRJ New Lodge on 028 9621 0900.