In the same week that a portrait of former US President Bill Clinton, that was “expected” to be bequeathed to the Clinton Centre in Enniskillen, was unveiled in Manhattan, New York, it has emerged that a new long term tenant for the Clinton Centre is to be announced in the near future.

Speaking to the Impartial Reporter this week Sean Henry, one of three directors of the Fermanagh University Partnership Board, the company who run the Clinton Centre, said that;

“The Clinton Centre is delighted with the unveiling of Colin’s portrait of the President. Currently we are in the process of appointing a long term tenant to the Clinton Centre who will continue to work positively with all stakeholders including the three universities and the Clinton Foundation.”

In 2017 it was announced by President Clinton that Dublin City University, Ulster University and University of Massachusetts had come together in a joint initiative to “renew and enhance the peace-building vision of the Clinton Centre in Enniskillen”.

A news story carried on the University of Ulster website on the day of Mr. Clinton’s announcement revealed that a number of initiatives were planned for the Clinton Centre including an exhibition by County Down artist, Colin Davidson, in 2018 and also the bequeathing of a portrait by Mr. Davidson of President Clinton.

That portrait was unveiled this week with Mr. Henry confirming to the Impartial Reporter that there has been regular communication between the Clinton Centre here in Enniskillen and the Clinton Foundation;

“The Clinton Centre would be very hopeful that the portrait will find its home here. The intention of the President was that it would be in the Clinton Centre.” When the new initiative was announced in 2017 involving the three universities it was said that the goal was “to create a new, sustainable operational model for the Centre, in keeping with President Clinton’s commitment to peace and reconciliation on the island of Ireland”.

Included in the initiatives for the Clinton Centre announced in 2017 was the hosting of students from the United States for a “range of academic programmes focusing primarily on peace and conflict studies”.

An interactive Interpretive Centre comprising documents/artefacts from the peace process in Northern Ireland was also planned for the centre.

Also among the initiatives planned was a summer school on women and leadership in post conflict societies and a social entrepreneurship programme aimed at the local region.