Minister Dermot Ahern Announces €0.6 Million Cross Border Funding
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dermot Ahern T.D., today announced an allocation of grants totaling €607,500 from the Department of Foreign Affairs' Reconciliation Fund. These grants are being made to 23 groups involved in a wide range of cross-community and cross-border outreach and reconciliation work.
Announcing the grants, Minister Ahern said:
“I am happy to announce this funding today, which will go towards 21 groups involved in building relationships and encouraging reconciliation throughout this island.
“We have seen major progress over the past year in developing peace and stability in Northern Ireland, and in improving relations across this island. In this round of funding, we are supporting a number of cross-border projects, including the work of Imeall Trá Teoranta, to develop the cultural links between an area in North Antrim with a strong Ulster Scots tradition, and the Donegal Gaeltacht. I would like also like to highlight the work of the Boyne Fishermen's Rescue and Recovery Service, which is doing great work in carrying out rescue missions to save lives on both sides of the border.
The ongoing work of community-based organisations has played a critical role in contributing to developing this peace and stability at a grass-roots level across the island. By awarding these grants, we seek to congratulate these groups for the work they have carried out to date, and to ensure that they have the capacity to continue to promote reconciliation between the different traditions that share this island.”
The Minister also said that he would look forward to greeting many of the groups at the third annual Reconciliation Networking Forum on the 1-2 April 2008. The Forum, which will be held in Dublin Castle, offers an opportunity for groups to network and share their experiences in the area of reconciliation.
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 in order to help 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 just approximately €24 million to over 690 groups involved in a wide range of cross-community and cross-border reconciliation activities. The grants announced today are the first tranche of total funding amounting to €3 million in 2008.
Details of the grants announced are attached below.
Ardboe Literary, Photographic and Historical Association – ALPHA, Co. Tyrone, is voluntary association based in a rural area in Co. Tyrone that aims to educate the general public by promoting awareness of the area’s heritage. This allocation will contribute towards research, publication and exhibition on the life and writings of a blind school teacher who moved to Ardboe from Co. Waterford in 1914, which will then be used to develop cross-border links between the area and Co. Waterford. Allocation: €5,000
Ballykeel 11 Residents Association - Community House, Co. Antrim is engaging young volunteers from an estate in Ballymena on a cross-community basis to engage in positive work within their area, e.g. a gardening and maintenance programme for the elderly and disabled residents of the estate. Allocation: €5,000
Ballyroan & Drumcree Parishes Group, Dublin takes Protestant and Catholic children from Portadown, Co. Armagh, to Ballyroan in Dublin for a week-long holiday each year during the marching season, offering a non-threatening way for the children to mix and get to know each other. Allocation: €3,500
Beechfield Primary School & St Bernadette's Primary School, Belfast, consists of a partnership between two parents’ groups attached to Beechfield Primary School, which draws students from the loyalist Lower Newtownards Road, and Saint Bernadette’s Primary School in the nationalist Ballymurphy area of Belfast. This allocation will go towards a cross-community programme for pupils and parents from both schools. Allocation: €12,500
Boyne Fishermen's Rescue and Recovery Service, Co. Louth, are a
completely voluntary service that carry out recovery missions on
both sides of the border. They are currently expanding on this
cross-border work by developing a new unit that will operate in
Portadown and Belfast.
Civil Rights Commemoration Committee, Co. Tyrone, has been established to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement, and to promote discussion and debate about the role of civil rights. Allocation: €40,000
Community Action for Locally Managing Stress – CALMS, Derry, works with people who are coming forward for help in dealing with issues resulting from the troubles. This allocation will contribute towards a project called ‘Stresswise’, which aims to inform, educate and advise young people how to recognize and manage stress in their lives. Allocation: €25,000
Co-operation Ireland, Dublin/Belfast, is one of the largest organisations working to promote reconciliation on the island of Ireland. This allocation will go towards the organisation‘s Community and Youth Exchanges Programme and ‘Beyond Borders’, a programme for groups within the youth and community sectors from both sides of the border. Allocation: €166,000
Corner House Cross Community Family Centre, Belfast, is situated on an interface between the Protestant Tiger's Bay and Catholic New Lodge areas of North Belfast. The Centre provides an informal drop-in crèche, educational classes and recreational activities for mothers and young people, and in recent years, has started to place an emphasis on cross-community work. Allocation: €7,000
Corpus Christi Youth Centre, Belfast, located in West Belfast, operates provides social and personal development opportunities to young people aged 5-25. This allocation will go towards the Centre’s cross-community relations and cultural traditions programmes. Allocation: €25,000
Cushendall District Development Group Ltd., Co. Antrim, was established in 1990 with the aim of encouraging locally based initiatives to stimulate development in the village, and to encourage more people to become involved in community development. Based in an area with a strong Ulter-Scots ethos, the organisation has strong cross-border links with Imeall Trá in Donegal. This allocation will contribute to the fitting out of community and cultural facilities. Allocation: €50,000
Donaghmoyne Youth Band, Co. Monaghan / Lisnaskea Accordian & Drum Band, Co. Fermanagh based in rural areas in Counties Monaghan and Fermanagh, these bands are coming together to build an understanding of their different traditions and to build stronger relationships on a cross-community basis. Allocation: €15,000
Dove House Community Trust, Co. Derry is one of the longest running community development groups based in the Bogside & Brandywell areas of Derry City. This allocation will go towards programme and running costs for a Youth Intervention Programme PATHS for 13 to 19 year olds aimed at tackling the high level of sectarian tension which often manifests itself over the summer months. Allocation: €20,000
Downpatrick Listowel Linkage Group, Co. Down was established in 1984 to promote cross-community and cross-border exchanges between Downpatrick and Listowel, Co. Kerry. This allocation will contribute towards a project that teaches participants how to handle conflict using mediation as a way to help tackle sectarianism. Allocation: €20,000
Gasyard Wall Féile, Derry is a year round cultural programme based primarily in the Bogside & Brandywell areas of Derry City but with activities and events taking place throughout the city. This allocation will go towards diversionary activities during the group’s annual Summer Féile, a week-long cultural and educational festival, which this year will be held from the 26 July – 2 August 2008. Allocation: €7,000
Imeall Trá Teoranta, Co. Donegal aims to facilitate a range of cross border linkages, programmes and networks which will promote reconciliation and advance the economic, social and cultural regeneration of North Antrim and the Donegal Gaeltacht. This allocation of funding will go towards the organisation’s peace-building programme, cultural & heritage activities, and towards developing a network of practitioners of traditional skills across the region. Allocation: €50,000
Newhaven Trust, Newry was set up in 1993 to help in the education, training and rehabilitation of ex-offenders, alcoholics, drug addicts and those socially excluded from society. This allocation will go towards the group’s cross-community and cross-border “Equi-Need” project which will bring four target groups together from Dundalk, Newry and Kilkeel to identify their needs and to assist them in working in partnership to improve their communities. Allocation: €25,000
North Leitrim Glens Development Company Ltd. carries out a range of cross-border arts-based activities on a cross-border basis. This funding will go towards the group’s ongoing programme costs. Allocation: €25,000
Northside Partnership, Dublin was established in 1991 and works with local communities that have benefitted least from economic and social development. It aims to promote social inclusion and improve the quality of life of people living in these communities. The Partnership has been engaged in assisting organisations in Northern Ireland over many years, and this allocation will go towards the continuation of this work. Allocation: €10,000
Randalstown Arches Association, Co. Antrim aims to assist the local community towards harmony, empowerment and success, and to increase their capacity by providing social and educational opportunities. This allocation of funding will go towards a youth project that tackles sectarianism and criminal issues in the town. Allocation: €10,000
St. Bernard's Primary School/Lisnasharragh Primary School, Belfast are working together with the aim of developing a real and lasting partnership between the two communities. The two principals and the Parent-Teacher Associations of both of these schools have recently come together to explore ways of establishing lasting cross-community links between the two schools. This allocation of funding will contribute to the development of a broad range of indoor and outdoor play opportunities outside of school hours that will actively bring children and their parents together. St. Bernard’s is the only Catholic primary school in East Belfast. Allocation: €20,000
Vine Centre, Belfast was established in 1970 at a time of significant sectarian violence as an initiative of local Presbyterian churches in the Crumlin Road area of North Belfast. The Centre aims to offer help and assistance to people caught up in inter and intra community conflict, by seeking to relieve poverty and by providing education and facilities that promote social welfare of local people. The application is in respect of a cross-border project with Dundalk IT. Allocation: €16,500
Willowfield Parish Community Association, Belfast was set up during 2002 in order to tackle social, environmental, sectarian, educational, moral and spiritual problems faced by residents of the Woodstock/Willowfield area of Protestant East Belfast. Allocation: €20,000
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