Minister Cowen announces grants totalling €450,000 for Reconciliation Groups
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D., announced today the allocation of grants totalling €450,000 from the Department of Foreign Affairs' Reconciliation Fund. The grants are being made to 12 organisations involved in a range of cross-community and cross-border outreach and reconciliation programmes.
Announcing the grants, the Minister said:
“The Irish Government is committed to encouraging reconciliation between the various communities and traditions in Northern Ireland, and between North and South. The ongoing work being carried out by so many organisations to foster reconciliation and build mutual respect is deeply appreciated by the Irish Government and these grants are a further reflection of the commitment made by the Government, in the Good Friday Agreement, to support such endeavours and provide financial assistance for the work of reconciliation and mutual understanding.
Over the last 4 years my Department has made grants totaling more than €10 million to more than 300 groups and organisations involved in a wide range of cross-community and cross-border reconciliation and outreach activities. I am very pleased that, notwithstanding the more difficult budgetary constraints that now apply, the Government has been able to broadly maintain its financial commitment to the Reconciliation Fund in 2003.”
Note for editors:
The Reconciliation Fund, established in the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1982, provides assistance to organisations involved in reconciliation work and creating better understanding between people in both parts of Ireland and between Ireland and Britain. The grants announced today were the final tranche of the €2.539 million allocation for 2002.
Recipients of the grants announced by the Minister today include:
Ardoyne Youth Club (North Belfast) The Club caters for young people of all ages and supports the development of reconciliation through education, culture and inter-denominational activities, promoting acceptance and tolerance. Allocated: €20,000
Centre for Cross-Border Studies (Armagh) Based in the Queens University Belfast campus in Armagh, the Centre is a North/South partnership between the QUB and Dublin City University. Over the last 3 years it has been conducting research and policy analysis on practical issues relating to North/South co-operation. Allocated: €75,000
Conflict Trauma Resource Centre (Belfast) A cross-community project, the Centre facilitates individuals and communities who have suffered as part of the conflict in Northern Ireland, by liasing with voluntary and statutory bodies. CTRC provides a range of services including support for carers of victims, referral between individuals/groups to clinicians within the trauma field, assistance with research in local communities and training programmes. Allocated: €25,000
Dún Uladh (Co. Tyrone) The organisation aims to promote aspects of Irish culture and runs courses in a wide range of cultural activities on a cross-community basis. Funding is awarded for the implementation of a range of arts, cultural and community relations programmes. Allocated: €30,000
Féile an Phobail (West Belfast) The Féile has been running since 1988 and aims to promote cultural diversity through the arts, as well as encouraging participation in the arts among the local community. Allocated: €50,000
Fellowship of Good Counsel Trust (Co. Donegal) This is a project of the Columba Community, a lay community organisation who have worked in the field of reconciliation for over twenty years. The group is a cross-community and interdenominational initiative, which aims to enable Catholics and Protestants to explore their common heritage. Allocated: €50,000
Glencree Centre for Reconciliation (Co. Wicklow) Glencree is a well-established centre working with all who wish to build peace. Glencree provides a safe and inclusive meeting place for peace building, fostering better understanding between the different traditions on the island. Allocated: €30,000
International School for Peace Studies at Messines (Messines, Belgium) The school is providing a neutral space for contact between representatives of the two communities in Northern Ireland, a number of whom come from difficult interface areas. Allocated: €20,000
Irish Trade Union Trust (Dublin) The Trust's Museum of Citizenship project seeks to provide a neutral physical space where individuals and groups can learn about themselves and others, and about prejudice and tolerance with a particular focus on conflict resolution in Northern Ireland. Funding is provided for a major all-island conference on citizenship. Allocated: €20,000
Parkside Community Association (North Belfast) Situated on an interface just off the Limestone Rd. in North Belfast, the group seeks to foster mutual understanding between the two communities through a series of social, recreational and educational programmes. The association places particular emphasis on raising educational attainment levels in the local community, thereby providing an opportunity for self-development and increasing mutual respect among both communities. Allocated: €20,000
Schomberg Society (Co. Down) The group seeks to promote the culture and heritage of the Ulster Scots tradition through educational programmes and public events. Funding is awarded for a summer festival, which has at its core a programme that researches the history of Marshall Schomberg and in particular the historical links which Marshall Schomberg had with Carlingford, Co. Louth. Allocated: €20,000
Scouting Ireland (All island) Scouting Ireland are currently developing their facilities at the Castle Saunderson estate, which forms part of the Cavan-Fermanagh border. The organisation will maintain a cross-border/cross-cultural activity and training centre for young Irish people from all parts of the island. Allocated: €90,000