Minister for Foreign Affairs announces funding for cross-community and cross-border outreach groups05 July 2010
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Affairs, Mr. Micheál Martin T.D., today announced that 37 groups would receive €456,500 in funding to underpin reconciliation initiatives under the Department of Foreign Affairs' Reconciliation and Anti-Sectarianism Funds.
Speaking at the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Fifth Reconciliation Networking Forum at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Minister Martin said:
“My Department’s Reconciliation and Anti Sectarianism Funds have developed a strong focus both on youth outreach and on community empowerment and regeneration, reflecting many of the challenges faced in our society today.
Among many of the groups receiving an Award today is Achieve Enterprises, an innovative new project which will look at young people’s rights and responsibilities around stop and search powers, designed to improve young people’s relationships with authority and with the police.”
Speaking of the importance of such work, the Minister said: “We have an obligation to them to provide opportunities, to help them find their voice, and ensure that they do not fall into the hands of criminals, intent on destroying the hard won peace.
There can be no substitution or dilution of the role of policing in society. Great progress has been made in making the PSNI more representative of the whole community, as provided for in the Patten Report and we must continue to build on this.”
Minister Martin described the removal of guns as “an opportunity to reinvigorate our work in these communities and look at new forms of cooperation and collaboration to ensure that there is a peace dividend for all”. The Minister recalled that “the people of Ireland, North and South, have said clearly that the only viable road to unity on this island lies through peace, tolerance, persuasion and agreement”.
Minister Martin said that “those who reject these principles perpetuate the divisions on the island” and he emphasised his own views of such activity - “as a democrat, as an elected representative of a political party proud of and committed to its republican tradition, I deplore their actions and call on them to stop.”
The Minister commended all the groups receiving funding and thanked them “for their sustained commitment to protecting our hard won peace and building a prosperous future”.
Some of the projects approved for funding by the Minister include:
- Youth Work Ireland Monaghan, to support the partnership between young people from communities in Fermanagh, Monaghan and Belfast which encourages young people to recognise the similarities between them, to accept the differences and to challenge the barriers to peace and reconciliation;
- Newbuildings Community Association, to contribute to a cultural diversity programme which encourages young people to become involved in youth club activities, to build links with similar communities and thereby encourage cross-community contact and inter-action;
- New Lodge Arts, towards their cross community youth arts festival “Celebrate North Belfast” will take place at the end of July;
- Saint Youth Centre in the Twinbrook/Poleglass area of West Belfast to support their cross community work in East Belfast and North Down;
- Forge Family Resource Centre, to develop a cross-border, cross-community project in Pettigo and Tullyhommon;
- Forthspring Intercommunity Group which is helping build local capacity and relationships across a difficult interface. This project is a community driven initiative to improve relations and to regenerate a deprived area;
- Community Relations in Schools who have developed a sustainable model for building collaborative relationships between parent groups at nursery school level.
Note for Editors:
As part of the Good Friday Agreement, participants undertook to “positively examine the case for enhanced financial assistance for the work of reconciliation.” On that basis, a Government Decision in April 1999 increased funding eightfold to £2 million. The budget for this year is €3 million - this covers both the Reconciliation Fund and the Anti-Sectarianism Fund. Since 1999, the two Funds have between them disbursed some €23 million to over 800 projects.
The Reconciliation Networking Forum is a two-day event attended by some 200 individuals representing community groups engaged in reconciliation activities and anti sectarianism projects on both sides of the border. The Forum gives participants the opportunity to meet with other organisations active in the reconciliation sector for the discussion of best practice and future challenges in community relations.
Projects approved for funding by the Minister under the Reconciliation Fund are set out below:
|Organisation||Delivery / Region||Amount Awarded|
|Achieve Enterprises||NI Wide||€42,500|
| All Ireland Schools Choir
(RTE / Cooperation Ireland)
|Axis Arts Centre Ballymun||North-South||€15,000|
|Ballykeel 2 Residents Association||Co. Antrim||€4,500|
|Ballymac Friendship Trust||Belfast East||€3,500|
|Belturbet Row Boat Club||North-South||€2,500|
|Brookeborough LOL / Riverstown||North-South||€2,500|
|Community Relations in Schools||Belfast wide||€12,500|
|Cumann Cultúrtha Mhic Reachtain||Belfast North||€3,500|
|Forge Family Resource Centre||North-South||€12,500|
|Fountain Cultural Society (Cresco)||Derry City||€8,000|
|Friends Forever||Co. Antrim||€17,500|
|Handful Productions||Derry City||€5,000|
|Hazel Wand Theatre School||Co. Tyrone||€6,000|
|Hillsborough Working Together||Co. Down||€5,000|
|New Lodge Arts||Belfast North||€7,500|
|Newbuildings Community Association||Co. Derry||€7,500|
|Peninsula Healthy Living Partnership (O4O)||Co. Down||€9,500|
|Saints Youth Centre||Belfast West||€5,000|
|Short Strand Community Forum||Belfast East||€7,500|
|Strule Dolphins Swimming Club||Co. Tyrone||€4,000|
|Summer Madness||Belfast wide||€5,000|
|Woodvale Community Youth Group||Belfast North||€9,500|
|Youth Work Ireland-Monaghan||North-South||€10,000|
|Youthworks C.I.C.||Belfast wide||€15,000|
Projects approved for funding by the Minister under the Anti-Sectarianism Fund are set out below:
|Organisation||Delivery / Region||Amount Awarded|
|Cairn Lodge Amateur Boxing Club||Belfast West||€3,500|
|Cityside Amateur Boxing Club||Derry City||€3,500|
|Clooney Estate Residents Association||Derry City||€4,000|
|Creggan Enterprises||Derry City||€10,000|
|Forthspring Inter Community Group||Belfast West||€15,000|
|Mission Hall Quilts Ltd (Cresco)||Derry City||€7,500|
|Peace & Reconciliation Group||Derry City||€5,000|
|Sally Gardens Community Centre||Antrim||€5,000|
|Show Racism the Red Card||North-South||€9,000|
|South Lough Neagh Regeneration Assoc.||Tyrone||€18,000|