Minister for Foreign Affairs praises the work of the International Fund for Ireland at a launch of a history of the fund at Iveagh House
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Micheál Martin, T.D., praised the incredible work and achievements of the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) over the past 21 years at the launch of a history of the fund at Iveagh House last night.
Launching 'A Fund of Goodwill’, which has been written by Alf McCreary, the Minister paid tribute to the Fund’s work in promoting peace-building and advancing its core aims of promoting contact, dialogue and reconciliation between nationalists and unionists on the island of Ireland.
The Minister said:
“The remarkable story of the IFI is a story of many different strands, not least of the ties between Ireland and our friends abroad, of the enduring goodwill of the Irish diaspora, and of the desire by so many people to help us to overcome our difficulties during the troubles.
We are grateful to all of the Fund’s donors- the United States of America, the European Union, Canada, Australia and New Zealand - both for their generous material support for the IFI and for standing shoulder-to-shoulder with us in the long search for a peaceful resolution to the political difficulties on this island. The legacy and the achievements of the IFI are a tribute to them.
For over twenty-one years now, the IFI has carried out its work with tenacity, compassion, vision and unswerving loyalty to its key principles. Its many imaginative programmes and projects have always placed core emphasis on cross-community and cross-border relationships. The IFI has invested over €850 million in Northern Ireland and the Southern border counties, a sum that has enabled a much greater amount be leveraged in support of joint projects with other bodies’’.
Warmly welcoming the presence of John Hume at the event, Minister Martin, said:
“It is a great pleasure and honour for me to welcome John Hume, and his wife Pat, here tonight. From the earliest days of the Troubles, John was unflinching in his efforts to secure international assistance that would help break the cycle of economic decline, despair and violence. It is to John that we owe so much of the progress in recent years, not just in economic support; not only in terms of a political solution to the Troubles; but in ending alienation and exclusion and in saving our young people from re-living the mistakes of the past".
Note for Editors:
Both Denis Rooney, Chairman, International Fund for Ireland and Alf McCreary, author of ‘A Fund of Goodwill’ are available for interview on request.
To request an interview or a review copy of ‘A Fund of Goodwill’, please contact Frans Van Cauwelaert / Paul Gray / Joanna Petty at WHPR.
Frans Van Cauwelaert / Paul Gray / Joanna Petty
Tel: 669 0030 / 087 9476743
The International Fund for Ireland is an international organisation established by the Irish and British Governments in 1986 with the objectives of promoting economic and social advance and of encouraging contact, dialogue and reconciliation between unionists and nationalists throughout Ireland. Contributors to the Fund are the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Since its inception, the Fund has committed more than EUR 845 m /£589m to a wide variety of projects in Northern Ireland and the Southern border counties.
The Fund’s budget for 2008 is EUR 48million /£33m. Funding priorities include grassroots level reconciliation and cross-community projects. In addition, the Fund seeks to address the root causes of deprivation in the most disadvantaged areas by using shared economic concerns as a platform for regeneration and cross-community activity. The Fund will also continue its pioneering work with children and young people throughout the North and the Southern border counties.
05 November 2008