Cowen: IR£700,000 for Reconciliation Groups
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D., announced today the allocation of grants totalling IR£716,225 from the Department of Foreign Affairs' Reconciliation Fund. The grants were made to 35 organisations involved in a wide range of cross-community, educational, research and outreach activities.
Announcing the grants, Minister Cowen said:
"The Good Friday Agreement placed an onus on the main traditions on this island to forge a new culture of reconciliation, tolerance and trust among the people of Ireland, North and South. The new relationships which are a necessary part of this new culture will not be possible without the intense dedication and commitment of voluntary organisations and individuals who lay the foundations of reconciliation. I hope that these grants will be a practical support to these groups in their task.
"I am pleased that the current allocation of grants includes provision for groups that address the needs of those who were bereaved or traumatised as a result of the violence of the last thirty years. Groups like the Wave Trauma Centre in Armagh and Relatives for Justice provide an invaluable and unique service to those who have suffered most in the conflict in Northern Ireland. In addition I am delighted to be associated with the Spectrum Centre on the Shankill Road, which is promoting community development in this troubled part of Belfast."
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:
Abbey Historical Society, Newtownabbey; using history as a means of uniting the communities of Northern Ireland and educating visitors toward reconciliation: allocated £10,000.
Adopt - Pettigo, Donegal; involved in the development of Pettigo, the organisation is building cross-community and cross-border links and activities: allocated £20,000.
Ballincollig Senior Citizen's Club, Cork - North/South Cross-Community Project; providing counselling and leadership training which targets young and older people from areas around Derry and Belfast that were most affected by violence: allocated £25,000.
Belfast Unemployed Resource Centre; a cross-border initiative to research training needs and provide training of trainers programmes targeting the disadvantaged: allocated £20,000.
Between, Cork; focussing on a reconciliation and human rights agenda, Between seeks to maintain contacts with combatants from all sides of the conflict in Northern Ireland: allocated £65,000.
British Irish Association; encouraging dialogue to resolve differences and promote understanding between Britain and Ireland, Ireland North and South and within Northern Ireland: allocated £15,000.
Castletown River and Dundalk Bay Amenity Development Association; promoting reconciliation through cross-community, cross-border and cross-channel interaction among young people: allocated £15,000.
Centre for Peace and Development Studies, Limerick; supplying reliable information and encouraging dialogue to counter misunderstanding between the communities in Northern Ireland and between North and South: allocated £25,000.
Craobh Cholm Cille, Conradh na Gaeilge, Doire; promoting cross-community and cross-border activities as part of their Irish language festivals, the organisation promotes dialogue among differing traditions: allocated £35,000.
Cross-Border Post Primary Schools Project, Monaghan; involving schools and communities on both sides of the border in the promotion of mental health and cross-cultural exchanges, involving the recording of young people's views at the dawn of the third millennium: allocated £2,000.
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.
Drogheda Partnership / Shankill (Belfast) Project; a cross border group working together to develop joint programmes aimed at bringing people together to address issues of division and exclusion: allocated £35,000.
Drumshanbo Community Council Ltd, Leitrim; an interdenominational project to reconstruct an old school house as a heritage/craft centre for the local community: allocation £5,000.
Gael Scoil na gCeithre Maistrí (Donegal Town); fostering tolerance and acceptance of diversity within an interdenominational school which operates through the medium of Irish: allocated £2,000.
Kilrea Art Club, Derry; Art classes in Derry which will involve students from both sides of the sectarian divide working and learning together: allocated £1,225.
Lower Ormeau Residents Action Group; developing the Shaftesbury Recreation Centre as a Community Centre for this interface district. It will allow the group to provide courses and develop its cross-community links and activities: allocated £45,000.
Naíscoil Ard Eoin (Belfast); advancing the education and overall development of children without distinction of sex, race, political or religious affiliation through the medium of the Irish language. The Naíscoil provides night classes which attract adults from both sides of the community divide: allocation £25,000.
Naíscoil na Banna (Portadown); providing new accommodation for the Naíscoil and facilitating its adult classes. The project will provide a means of exploring issues of language and culture in a deprived area which has suffered during the conflict in Northern Ireland: allocation £30,000.
North-South Human Rights Conference; organising a major conference to discuss the protection and development of human rights and equality throughout the island of Ireland in an international context: allocation £10,000.
Omagh Boys' and Girls' Club; an interdenominational project to construct a new centre for a youth club in Omagh: allocation £55,000.
POBAL, Bothar na bhFál, Béal Feirste; this umbrella organisation for the Irish language community in Northern Ireland will organise an international conference on language rights: allocation £5,000.
Prayer and Peace Garden, Swanlinbar; completion of a garden as a permanent memorial to the quest for peace: allocation £5,000.
Project Portadown Trust; a two week residential accredited course in intervention and mediation in Canada which will involve members of the loyalist community: allocation £20,000.
R.E.A.C.H. Across, Derry; delivering a cross community contact programme for young people involving a community relations course, outdoor pursuits, a group work residential week and a planning workshop: allocation £2,500.
Relatives for Justice, Belfast; providing support and assistance for victims and relatives of victims of the conflict in Northern Ireland: allocation £50,000.
Religious Denomination Committee; interdenominational projects with North-South, Anglo-Irish themes at the Kilkenny School Project: allocation £500.
Spectrum Centre / Greater Shankill Partnership; promoting the regeneration of the Greater Shankill area (Belfast) through a number of community development projects based at the centre: allocation £50,000.
St. Mary's College, Belfast; a study to extend cross-border cooperation between academic award organisations on both sides of the border: allocated £5,000.
Stop ‘96; building peace through dialogue and interaction with all Northern Parties, particularly Sinn Féin, the P.U.P. and the U.D.P.: allocation £21,000.
Traad/Ballyronan/Ballinderry Development Association; providing a cross-community building to encourage cross-community participation in community development initiatives: allocation £20,000.
Two Cathedrals Festival Ltd, Derry; organising a music festival against a background of cross-community co-operation and participation: allocation £10,000.
WAVE Trauma Centre, Armagh; providing support services for people traumatised by the troubles. WAVE seeks to empower people and promote a respect for life and an understanding of difference: allocation £30,000.
West-Ferrard Boyne Rural Development Group; providing facilities and services in their local area, which includes the site of the Battle of the Boyne: allocation £2,000.
Young Leaders Programme, Queen's University Belfast; providing internships for young people from across the island of Ireland with political media and law offices in Washington DC. Each programme is followed by a corresponding programme of civic training with a cross-community ethos for secondary schools: allocation £10,000.
174 Trust, Belfast; developing an existing centre for a cross-community development project based in North Belfast: allocation £25,000.