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Flanagan to visit Derry for engagement on the UK-EU Referendum and political, community meetings



Minister Flanagan to visit Derry for engagement on the UK-EU Referendum and meetings with political and community representatives
Minister to meet SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood, address the Chamber of Commerce and visit An Cultúrlann

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, is visiting Derry today (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday).

Minister Flanagan will deliver a speech to the Chamber of Commerce, meet SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood and visit An Cultúrlann, which receives grant support from the Reconciliation Fund of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The Minister’s visit to Derry follows a series of meetings in Belfast last week.

Speaking ahead of the visit Minister Flanagan said:

“I am pleased to be making my first visit to Derry since my reappointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“I am meeting with SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood to discuss a number of issues from the Stormont House Agreement that need to be progressed, including reaching agreement on the establishment of the institutions for dealing with the legacy of the past. I look forward to working with Colum Eastwood and the SDLP to achieve progress in the months and years ahead on the important issues facing our island North and South.

“I am pleased to have the opportunity to address the city's very active Chamber of Commerce on the Government’s priorities for the North West region. The Programme for Government includes a number of specific commitments in this regard. I will also be setting out the Government’s position on the UK-EU referendum, where the potential implications for Derry and North West region are acute. It is critical that our perspective and our concerns on a possible UK exit from the EU are heard and considered by all voters in Northern Ireland, given the serious implications that a vote to leave would have for the entire island of Ireland.”

Minister Flanagan will also visit Derry’s award winning Irish language and arts centre, An Cultúrlann, a longstanding partner of the Reconciliation Fund of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to discuss their work in promoting the Irish language, arts and culture in Derry and to hear about their outreach work to all in the community.

Minister Flanagan said:

“I look forward to visiting An Cultúrlann, which is an impressive premises in the heart of Derry’s Cultural Quarter, and to hearing more about the very good work being done to promote the Irish language, arts and culture. An Cultúrlann contributes in a very real way to reconciliation by ensuring outreach to all parts of the community and by its work to ensure that the Irish language, arts and culture are avenues of reconciliation rather than division. I am very pleased that grants in support of this work have been awarded to An Cultúrlann by my Department’s Reconciliation Fund.”

Following his engagements in Derry, Minister Flanagan will go to Letterkenny to welcome, on behalf of the Government, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall who visit tomorrow (Wednesday).

Press Office
24 May 2016

Notes for Editors

  • The Programme for Government includes a number of specific commitments for the North West region, including advancing North South co-operation, particularly through the cross-border bodies and the North South Ministerial Council.
  • The Fresh Start Agreement includes a number of further commitments directly relevant to the North West including support and funding from the Irish Government for North-South infrastructure projects. Significantly this includes additional support of £25m in 2019 to complete the first part of the A5 road project in addition to the £50 million previously committed.
  • The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has provided €2.5 million for the North West Development Fund to help the regional Councils deliver the objectives of the North West Gateway Initiative, with the aim of boosting economic growth in the North West.
  • In 2016, the Reconciliation Fund will provide €2.7 million in grants to organisations working to eliminate sectarianism and to further peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland, on a cross-border basis, and between Ireland and Britain.
  • Since 2004, over €29 million has been disbursed to fund over 1300 peace and reconciliation projects. Find out more about the Reconciliation Fund.
  • Read Minister Flanagan's speech to the Chamber of Commerce here.