Cowen: IR£1,370,000 for Reconciliation Groups
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D., announced today the allocation of grants totalling IR£1,372,625 from the Department of Foreign Affairs' Reconciliation Fund. The grants are being made to 45 organisations involved in a wide range of cross-community, educational, research and outreach activities.
Announcing the grants, Minister Cowen said:
"I am personally delighted to announce these grants. The work of Nationalist, Unionist and cross-community organisations in the North often goes unreported and under-appreciated. I want to place on record my own deep commitment to the process of reconciliation between the two main traditions on this island. The importance of the work of the Federation of Irish Societies in supporting the Irish community in Britain to play a full and active role in the wider community there is also acknowledged.
The Government gave a commitment in the Good Friday Agreement to strengthen our work in this vital area. The grants awarded today are a particular expression of that commitment. I hope that they will provide practical support to groups and individuals who are working to build a vibrant, peaceful society based on principles of inclusivity, tolerance and mutual respect."
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. It was increased eight-fold in 1999 to IR£2 million. Recipients of the current allocation of grants announced by the Minister today include:
Bandon Churches; interdenominational project involving the simultaneous floodlighting of the Church of Ireland, Catholic Church and Methodist Church in Bandon: allocated £15,000.
Cliftonville Football Club; towards the outreach programmes of this club which is committed to providing sports facilities for people of all cultural, religious and political backgrounds: allocated £30,000.
Cloney Rural Development Association (Co. Antrim); this cross-community group runs a youth club and provides a social club for the over-40s: allocated £500.
Cóiste na nIarchimí (Dublin); working in support of former Republican prisoners and their families: allocated £20,000.
Conference Report on the Future of Orange Halls; producing a report on a conference which will explore the future of Orange Halls, including Halls in the South: allocated £500.
Co-operation Ireland; advancing mutual understanding and respect by promoting practical co-operation between the people of Ireland, North and South. Co-operation Ireland is the largest NGO working in this important area: allocated £325,000.
Cregagh / Dundalk Link; bringing a group of young people from a Loyalist area in East Belfast to Dundalk for the purpose of forming a meaningful link between the two areas: allocated £2,500.
Cultures of Ireland; promoting reconciliation through education, dialogue and cultural activities: allocated £15,000.
Department of Irish Folklore, UCD; academic study of the tradition of mumming, a shared aspect of Protestant and Catholic culture which will involve people from both traditions in conducting the necessary research: allocated £20,000.
Derry and Raphoe Action; this cross-border organisation aims to create self-confidence and encourage community development processes within rural Protestant communities in Derry, Tyrone and Donegal: allocated £25,000.
Druminan Flute Band (Drum, Co. Monaghan); the band is drawn mainly from the Protestant community and is seeking assistance to allow them to appear at more venues, recitals and St. Patrick's Day Parades: allocated £10,000.
Falls Community Council; promoting the social, economic and cultural regeneration of West Belfast. A new conflict resolution initiative will aim to address the experiences of a community emerging from conflict: allocated £110,000.
Federation of Irish Societies; this national umbrella body with a diverse range of affiliates from all across Britain aims to improve the quality of life and social inclusion of all people of Irish descent in Britain: allocated £160,000.
Festival of Hope 2001(Derry); this inter-church group aims to bring young people from both traditions and from both sides of the border together for a celebration of their unity and diversity: allocated £5,000.
Finaghy Cross-Community Development Group (Belfast); improving community relations and combatting sectarian incidents. The FCCDG also aims to improve provision for youth in Finaghy: allocated £5,000.
Glebeside Community Association; developing a resource centre as a cross-community project in a deprived area: allocated £30,000.
Habitat for Humanity Northern Ireland (Belfast); this organisation, which originates in the United States, aims to develop integrated housing projects which will allow Catholic and Protestant families to live side by side without fear: allocated £50,000.
Hope Women's Group (North Belfast); targeting young women from a marginalised Protestant community to broaden their outlook and empower them to take control of their own future: allocation £12,000.
Iomairt Cholm Cille / The Columba Initiative (Scotland/Belfast/Galway); fostering support for the Gaelic language and providing a channel for interaction, cultural exchange and relationship building between Scotland, Northern Ireland and the South: allocation £25,000.
Irish Peace Institute (University of Limerick); contributing to the process of peace building through programmes of education, research and outreach, directed at the development of mutual understanding and cooperation between the people of Northern Ireland and the South: allocation £35,000.
Limerick International Band Festival; aiming to develop cross-border activities by encouraging bands (and adjudicators) from different traditions in the North to visit Limerick: allocation £5,000.
Loup Women's Group (Derry); this cross-community women's group seeks to bring women together from every background through education: allocation £10,000.
Maiden City Festival; established by the Apprentice Boys to reduce tension in the build-up to the marching season in Derry, the festival runs a wide programme of events designed to attract attendance from both sides of the community and the border: allocation £30,000.
Malahide and District Pipe Band; the Malahide Festival of Piping and Drumming attracts interest from pipers from both sides of the border: allocation £3,000.
McGlinchey Summer School (Donegal); aiming to highlight the uniqueness of the Inishowen Peninsula and to use it as a model to explore the heritage of the whole North West region, the theme of this annual event is "Emigration": allocation £13,000.
Meath Peace Group (Dunboyne); this voluntary group aims to promote peace and understanding, to foster dialogue between communities North and South, to raise awareness of issues around the peace process and to encourage ordinary people to recognise their own role in building peace: allocation £7,000.
Naíscoil Bheann Mhadagáin (Béal Feirste); providing facilities for the education and development of children below compulsory age, through the medium of Irish, without distinction of gender, race, political or religious background: allocation £25,000.
Network of Cross-Border Education for Reconciliation Projects (Sligo); an ad hoc network of institutions involved in cross-border and cross-community education for reconciliation projects, funding is sought to establish a cross-border forum to facilitate co-operation and sharing of information: allocation £1,000.
North Belfast Community Development Centre; addressing divisions in North Belfast through dialogue, training and planning community initiatives, the Centre seeks to support marginalized members of the community and promote good community development practice: allocated £25,000.
North/South Cross-Community Project (Ballincollig Senior Citizens Club); promoting positive relationships and interaction within and between North and South, especially among socially excluded people: allocated £25,000.
North West Community Residential Centre - An Teach Bán (Donegal); facilitating wheelchair and disability access at this cross-border, cross-community conflict resolution centre: allocated £9,125.
Omagh Churches' Forum; facilitating the various churches in working together to discuss controversial issues and improve community relations: allocated £10,000.
Queen's University Belfast, Armagh Campus; work on a cross-community basis with groups of disabled people: allocated £15,000.
Saint Columb's Cathedral, Derry; restoring the organ in this Cathedral which the local community, both Catholic and Protestant, view as part of the city's heritage: allocated £100,000.
Shankill/Shankill Project (Belfast/Dublin); bringing young people from the different traditions of the Shankill in Belfast and Shankill, Dublin together, to work and socialise in workshops, exchanges, activity days etc: allocated £10,000.
S.P.R.I.N.G. (Armagh); based in the depressed housing estates around Armagh, S.P.R.I.N.G. aims to challenge ghettoisation by focussing on cross-community and cross-border encounters. Their programmes include basic education, personal and community development and youth support: allocated £50,000.
STOP ‘96; this non-sectarian and non-political organisation seeks to build peace through dialogue. STOP interacts on an ongoing basis with all Northern parties and projects include cross-border, cross-community partnerships between primary schools and work with ex-prisoners and ex-soldiers: allocation £23,000.
The Edge (Ballynahinch); providing an alcohol/drug-free social/training facility for young people from both communities in Ballynahinch: allocated £15,000.
The Federation of Ulster Local Studies (Belfast); promoting improved community relations through the study of local history and the development of communication and cooperation between voluntary and statutory bodies in both communities and on both sides of the border: allocation £8,000.
The John Hewitt International Summer School; devoted to the exploration of the culture and politics of the North, the South, Britain and Europe, the Summer School provides a neutral space where debate and acceptance of cultural diversity are encouraged: allocated £12,000.
The New Ireland Group (Belfast); the Group seeks to establish a new pluralist constitution embracing the whole of Ireland; to achieve, through consensus, equitable and participatory forms of government; and to promote the right of free expression of all cultures and traditions within Ireland: allocated £10,000.
The Parishes of Ballyroan and Drumcree Friendship Group (Dublin); providing 2-week respite breaks in Ballyroan parish for children from Drumcree, and in particular the Garvaghy Road, during the marching season: allocated £1,000.
The Ulster Project (Portadown); working with teenagers from Northern Ireland, the project is dedicated to building tolerance, trust and ongoing relationships between potential leaders from Protestant and Roman Catholic backgrounds. Teenagers participate in a broad range of educational and social activities including a residential stay in American homes: allocated £10,000.
Upper Springfield Development Trust; committed to the work of articulating local needs, combatting deprivation and building contacts/links with organisations from different political/religious backgrounds. The Trust has played an important role in enabling the community to contribute to issues like the policing debate and community restorative justice: allocated £50,000.