Minister for Foreign Affairs announces funding for cross-community and cross-border outreach groups
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dermot Ahern T.D., today announced grants totalling almost €1 million from the Department of Foreign Affairs' Reconciliation Fund. These grants are being made to 40 groups involved in a wide range of cross-community and cross-border outreach, reconciliation and anti-sectarianism work.
Announcing the grants, Minister Ahern said:
“The Irish Government continues to recognise the important role that community based organisations play in promoting peace and reconciliation, and in combating sectarianism. It therefore gives me great pleasure to announce support for these organisations that engage in a wide range of activities that foster mutual understanding and respect between the different traditions on this island.
“The organisations which we are supporting today have been instrumental in bringing members of the community together. In many cases, the first opportunity that many people have to meet people from the ‘other’ tradition is through their employment. For many years, ICTU have been encouraging peace and reconciliation and challenging sectarianism within the workplace.
“Other groups have been critical in encouraging reconciliation within communities. Young people in Northern Ireland have been brought together since 1991 through Youthlink NI, a joint initiative among the main churches to develop excellence in youth work. Derry and Raphoe Action have done important work in improving the capacity of border Protestants to engage in community development, while SAVER/NAVER provides tangible support to victims of the troubles through counselling, education and activities.
“NIPPA are using a targeted and innovative media initiative ‘Respecting Differences’, through which they are aiming to tackle sectarianism and promote positive attitudes in the critical pre-school age group.
“The valuable work of these organisations continues to bring people together, both on a cross-border and cross-community basis, building upon relationships that will serve to create a better future for the entire island.”
Note for Editors:
The Reconciliation Fund was established in the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1982 and provides assistance to organisations involved in reconciliation work to create a better understanding between people on the island of Ireland and between Ireland and Britain. Since 1999, the Department of Foreign Affairs has awarded grants of approximately €23 million to over 650 groups involved in a wide range of cross-community and cross-border reconciliation activities. The grants announced today are the second tranche of total funding amounting to €3 million in 2007.
Details of the grants announced are attached below.
An Teach Bán/The Centre for Peace Building, Donegal aims to contribute to the co-ordination, support and development of the peace building effort in the North West Region in the context of national and international peace building practice. This allocation of funding will enable the Centre to expand its current outreach programme engaging communities in Donegal and increasing cross border partnerships with communities in Derry. Allocation: €50,000
Ballinasloe CT Institute, Co. Galway, aims to facilitate and maintain working relations between groups in Ireland and the UK to promote reconciliation. This allocation of funding will go towards the Sixth Aughrim Summer School, which is located close to the battle site in Aughrim. Allocation: €3,000
Caledon Playgroup, Co. Tyrone runs a summer scheme catering for children 3-12 years old from both Catholic and Protestant backgrounds, promoting cross community and interdenominational activities, promotion of tolerance and acceptance of cultural diversity. Allocation: €1,500
Corduff / Killeen Pipe Bands, Co. Armagh & Co. Monaghan, are working together in a cross border and cross community initiative to promote the teaching of pipe music and drumming to adults and young people in their own and different environs. Allocation: €10,000
Creggan Country Park Enterprises Ltd, Derry, is a not for profit organisation that is extending its “Reconciliation through Recreation” project to provide a diversionary programme of activity during the parading season, and brings Unionist / Loyalist Communities ‘across the river’ to the west bank of Derry. Allocation: €25,000
Cullybackey Improvement Association, Co. Antrim, is a community based association that is building a new resource centre that will contribute to community spirit in the area, and will offer a neutral space that will enable the community to engage in cross-community activities. Allocation: €12,500
Cross Border Musical Links, Co. Louth reaches out to students both North and South of the border and facilitates mixing between students of various traditions through the medium of music and cultural events. Allocation: €5,000
Derry & Raphoe Action has been involved in cross border work for ten years and has a record of successful partnerships and links on cross border and cross community projects. The organisation seeks to promote the self confidence and capacity of border Protestants so that they will become involved in building the future of their communities. Allocation: €50,000
Dooneen Community Association, Co. Fermanagh is an umbrella organisation which oversees the upkeep of Dooneen Community Education Centre, located in an isolated rural area of Co Fermanagh. The Centre provides recreational activities to members of both communities, and various cross border events are organised to promote tolerance and acceptance of cultural diversity. Allocation: €25,000
Dunmurry Community Association, Co. Antrim is developing a varied programme of activities for young people that aims to address prejudice and intolerance of other people’s religion and culture. By engaging with young people from other outlying interface communities this project will bring young people together on joint activities, building relationships and promoting acceptance and understanding of each other. Allocation: €15,000
Fountain Street Community Development Association, Tyrone is engaged in a cross-community project involving Catholic young people from the Head of the Town Area in Strabane and Protestant young people from rural areas of Strabane, Castlederg and Donemana, which will build on reconciliation within and between different cultures, traditions and communities. Allocation: €10,000
Gig'n The Bann Cross Community Festival, Portglenone, brings together children, youths and families from both sides of the community, and encourages positive relationships between the two main traditions and immigrants. The Festival is a catalyst for all people to come together thus promoting reconciliation, tolerance and acceptance of cultural diversity. Allocation: €1,500
Glenravel/Cullybackey Environmental Improvement Association, Co. Antrim is working to maintain and further develop cross-community relationships between the Glenravel and Cullybackey committees and beyond into the wider communities through a local history programme and schools projects. Allocation: €40,000
Hard Gospel is a programme within the Church of Ireland that acts as an over-arching policy to help the Church to deal more positively with difference and to make a contribution to healing division. Allocation: €50,000
Highfield Partnership, Belfast, is an umbrella group for community projects in the Highfield area. This allocation will go towards several cross-community events (e.g. cross community women’s groups, interface workers’ networks). Allocation: €6,000
History of Border Entertainment is carrying out research and publication of a book on the shared history of the entertainment industry in the border area. Allocation: €1,000
ICTU is working with the Northern authorities on partnership models and will also be carrying out an Anti-Sectarianism Project during 2007 and 2008. Allocation: €80,000 in 2007, €80,000 in 2008
Inishowen Women's Information Network, Co. Donegal, was formed in February 2000 to support women and women’s groups throughout the Inishowen peninsula. The group has been working with the Mid Ulster Women’s Network from Magherafelt, Co. Derry in delivering a programme on the effects of the Troubles that aims to identify and break down barriers to enable participants to forge mutually beneficial networking links between the neighbouring counties of Donegal and Derry. Allocation: €35,000
Irish Countrywomen’s Association, Ballsbridge HQ, brought 30 members (5 from each of the counties in Northern Ireland) of the Women's Institute in Northern Ireland to join in festivities and exchange and share mutual customs, cultures etc at an event hosted by the organisation in Co. Louth. Allocation: €3,000.
Irish School Of Ecumenics Trust, Belfast is a cross border institute with centres in Dublin and Belfast which promotes dialogue, peace, and reconciliation through teaching, research and community outreach activities. The allocation will be used to support the extension of their work with community groups on both sides of the border. Allocation: €70,000
Kilkerley Community Development Group, Co. Louth runs a community hall that offers the community activities such as bowls, badminton etc. that attract both cross community and cross border participants. This gives people in the area on both sides of the border an opportunity to mix and socialise in a neutral venue, thereby promoting reconciliation and tolerance of cultural diversity. Allocation: €25,000
L.A.T.C.H (Listening And Talking Can Help) works with young people within a range of highly effective and successful life skills and mentoring programmes throughout schools and community based youth centres across Limavady, rural Derry and Strabane. This allocation of funding will contribute to workshops exploring culture and tradition through music as part of their ‘Rock the Valley’ festival in 2007 and 2008. Allocation: €10,000
Ligoniel Family Centre, Belfast, is engaging in a cross-community project that will bring women together from Ligoniel and Ballysillan on a number of programmes, including cultural diversity, drug awareness, health and domestic violence. Allocation: €10,000
Lincoln Courts Football Club, Derry, is carrying out a programme of coaching and a tournament for approximately 25 young people from two communities, one strongly loyalist and one strongly nationalist, in Derry in the month of August. The programme seeks to promote tolerance and acceptance of different traditions through the medium of sport. Allocation: €1,000
Malahide International Festival of Piping & Drumming, Dublin, attracts a large number of bands from both Northern Ireland and Great Britain each year and gives participants and supporters an excellent opportunity to mix in a shared cultural tradition of piping. Allocation: €5,000.
New Ireland Group, Co. Antrim works to support those seeking political and social reconciliation in Ireland and invites speakers from the South to engage in public meetings. Allocation: €2,500
NIPPA, Belfast, is the largest voluntary organisation in Northern Ireland working with the under 12 age group and their families. This allocation of funding will support the organisation’s ‘Respecting Differences’ project – a media programme for pre-school children and their parents which seeks to tackle sectarian attitudes. Allocation: €25,000
North West Archaeological & Historical Society works towards promoting better understanding of Irish, British and Ulster heritage through further research, lectures and exhibitions aimed at community associations in Derry, Tyrone and Donegal, and at local schools and social groups in the region. Allocation: €1,500
PAKT, Lurgan, is a cross community and family focused group delivering a range of educational and social programmes to children, young adults and parents. The organisation is carrying out an accredited cultural enrichment programme which will contribute to reconciliation through education and promotion of tolerance and acceptance of cultural diversity. Allocation: €10,000
REACH Across carries out cross community based programmes on Citizenship and Drug Awareness. Allocation: €4,000
Rosemount Resource Centre, Derry, is enhancing is existing community-based programmes to further develop the cross-border and cross-community reconciliation elements within their projects. Allocation: €25,000
S.A.V.E.R. / N.A.V.E.R, Co. Armagh, engages in activities and programmes to provide respect and support to victims and their families. This allocation will go towards an anti-sectarianism programme involving youth groups. Allocation: €15,000
Summer Madness / Streetreach, Belfast, brings young people together in a variety of social action projects in the city in a festival atmosphere each summer. Allocation: €25,000
Tara Counselling & Personal Development Centre provides a counselling service on a cross-community and cross border basis, that aims to address the trauma and hurt of conflict experiences. This grant will support a 2 year reconciliation programme which will look at sectarianism, tolerance, forgiveness and identity. Allocation: €50,000 in 2007, €50,000 in 2008
The Gasyard Wall Féile, Derry runs an ongoing cultural programme, primarily based in the Bogside and Brandywell areas of Derry. The Summer Féile focuses on building positive identities and provides a diversionary outlet for young people during the parading period. Allocation: €7,500.
The Pat Finucane Centre, Derry, is a non-political, anti-sectarian centre for Human Rights. Current activities include documenting sectarian attacks in Northern Ireland, individual casework with families, involvement in a wide range of issues surrounding policing and criminal justice system, and maintaining links with human rights NGOs and parliamentarians in Ireland and abroad. Allocation: €25,000
Tipperary Peace Convention aims to promote peaceful ideals, through music, song, debate, and the recognition of individuals who have a particular noteworthy contribution to peace, through an Festival of Peace which is held on an annual basis. Allocation: €2,000
Traditions Meet consists of a brass band and a pipe band from both sides of the religious divide. The planned project is to compile a CD with emphasis placed on the musical talents of the bands involved. This project will look at different social, cultural and traditional history of the cross-community groups involved. Allocation: €15,000
Truagh Development Association, Co. Monaghan, based in a mixed community in Co. Monaghan, aims to rebuild relations with neighbours both locally and across the border. Allocation: €15,000
Youthlink N.I., Belfast, is a partnership of churches working together to develop excellence in youth work and ministry, peace building and reconciliation. It is the only forum in Northern Ireland where churches co-operate formally on training youth workers who will be key to tackling sectarian attitudes and facilitating/ creating opportunities for greater contact at local levels. Allocation: €100,000
14 August 2007