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Minister Charlie Flanagan announces Strategic Partners in Northern Ireland Reconciliation


Minister Charlie Flanagan announces Strategic Partners in Northern Ireland Reconciliation
-Minister to meet Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Charles Flanagan T.D., today announced that four organisations had been selected as Strategic Partners of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Reconciliation Fund.

Speaking in advance of a meeting in Dublin this evening with Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers MP, Minister Flanagan said:

“Last year, I pledged to introduce a Strategic Partners scheme in 2015 in recognition of the vital role of civil society in furthering reconciliation on the island of Ireland. I am delighted today to announce the Reconciliation Fund’s first four Strategic Partners: Community Relations in Schools; Corrymeela; Healing Through Remembering and Youth Action.

“These organisations have an excellent track record in furthering peace and reconciliation and I welcome the strengthened partnership that my Department will have with them over the next three years.”

Speaking about Corrymeela, Minister Flanagan said:

“I am pleased that Corrymeela this week will also welcome HRH Prince Charles to their centre. The Irish Government has provided support to Corrymeela for a number of years in recognition of the quality of their programming and their steadfast commitment to respect and dialogue.”

Speaking about his meeting with Secretary of State Villiers today, Minister Flanagan said:

“The two Governments, along with the Northern Ireland Executive party leaders, committed ourselves to furthering the reconciliation agenda in the Stormont House talks last autumn. What was achieved in the Stormont House Agreement last December has the potential to contribute significantly to repairing those issues which lead to division and conflict and to building a strong civil society that encompasses all communities and promotes political stability and respect for all.

"There is too much at stake to allow the Stormont House Agreement fall now over any one issue. Today, Theresa Villiers and I will discuss how best to get implementation of the Agreement back on track. Advancing reconciliation is the responsibility of the whole of society. As well as supporting civil society, we need to continue to advance reconciliation at the political level, and implementation of the Stormont House Agreement and upholding commitments made in previous Agreements is a key part of that process.”

Press Office
19 May 2015