Fourth Reconciliation Networking Forum-Minister Martin announces €1.6 million in reconciliation and anti-sectarianism funds
Fourth Reconciliation Networking Forum
Dublin Castle, 20 May 2009
“Reconciliation must be taken beyond the political level – genuine, lasting peace depends on reconciliation at the level of local communities”, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Micheál Martin, TD, said today at the launch of his Department’s Fourth Reconciliation Networking Forum at Dublin Castle.
Over 200 people are attending the two-day conference, including representatives from some 70 community groups from across Northern Ireland and the Border counties.
Addressing the Forum, the Minister praised the great wealth of
cross-community work going on at the local level, work which has
been instrumental in “cementing good community relations, building
peace and reconciliation, and helping our society make great
strides in combating sectarianism”.
“All of this has lent great strength and vigour to the peace process”, he stated.
However, he stressed the continuing need for reconciliation work, now and into the future, tackling the blight of sectarianism and bringing down the barriers – both physical and psychological – which have been built up between communities over decades.
The Minister reminded delegates of the attacks in March “when a small number of individuals - in taking the lives of three men - sought to pull Northern Ireland back to the days of violence and despair.” He was emphatic that “the people stood together and answered this challenge – indicating clearly that for us there is no going back. The people of Ireland – North and South – have chosen the path of peace and reconciliation”.
Minister Martin also noted that economic and social development was fundamental to long-term peace and stability. “A sustainable process of building peace and reconciliation cannot leave communities behind, without hope or prospects. The dividends of peace must be enjoyed and shared by all.”
The Minister pledged that, “despite the fact that these are more difficult times economically than we have experienced in recent years, the Government will continue to support the work of reconciliation on this island.”
He took the opportunity to announce funding under his Department’s Reconciliation and Anti-Sectarianism Funds totalling nearly €1.6 million for some 60 organisations involved in a wide range of cross-community and cross-border outreach and reconciliation work.
“The impact of the totality of funded projects will touch lives in many different ways”, the Minister said and stressed that “all of these organisations being awarded funding deserve our support and encouragement”.
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 approximately €27 million to over 800 projects encompassing 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 2009.
Details of the grants announced are attached overleaf.
174 Trust, Belfast
The 174 Trust is a non-denominational community development organisation using former Presbyterian Church buildings as a shared space to encourage and facilitate engagement between the two main traditions in North Belfast. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Altnaveigh House Ltd
Altnaveigh House is a voluntary community development body originally established to work with the Protestant community in Newry and Mourne District. Altnaveigh has a network of 286 affiliated groups in NI, many of which are involved in cross border projects, facilitated by Altnaveigh. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Ardoyne Focus Group
The Group is based at the junction of the Crumlin/Woodvale/Twaddell interface and its programme envisages the creation of a fully comprehensive community safety strategy for the Ardoyne. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Ardoyne Youth Providers Forum
AYPF is an umbrella group for over 40 community and youth groups in the Ardoyne and Marrowbone areas of North Belfast. The current programme will include workshops on anti-sectarianism, hate-crime, conflict mediation, cultural diversity and orangism and the loyal orders. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Arts For All
Arts for All, is a community-based arts organisation operating in North Belfast. The Cross Interface Relations Through Community Arts project (CIRCA) aims to create and support a web of innovative arts and culture projects that address sectarianism and division. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Autism NI has strong links with services in the Ireland and the Irish Society for Autism. Members from both sides of the border access training in Belfast and branch support networks. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Ballykeel 11 Residents Association - Community House
Based in an estate in Ballymena, Ballykeel 11 Residents’ Association is engaging young volunteers on a cross-community basis to engage in positive work within their area. The project promotes reconciliation locally and provides assistance to persons directly affected by conflict in a cross community context. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Ballymoney Community Resource Centre (BCRC)
BCRC provides a support and information network for local community and voluntary organisations in the area. The Centre runs community training for capacity and personal development and facilitates cultural awareness programmes in Dervock and Rasharkin. Allocated from the Anti-Sectarianism Fund
Ballysillan Youth For Christ Drop-In Centre
Ballysillan Youth for Christ, known locally as the ‘Blue Houses’, is the leading provider of informal youth services in Ballysillan, an area characterised by disadvantage and deprivation. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Business in the Community
Business in the Community has extensive experience working in areas of social and economic underachievement and also with engaging the private sector in interventions in these areas. Through their Cohesive Communities / Closing the Gap Programme, they aim to use their unique relationship with the private sector to create positive change among deprived communities in Northern Ireland, building their capacity from within.
Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Community Action for Locally Managing Stress (C.A.L.M.S.) is a cross-community organisation in Derry that aims to proactively assist groups and individuals to manage stress. It targets marginalised groups made vulnerable by poverty and political violence. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
The Carswell Trust was set up to promote community relations through education and arts projects. The Trust also publishes books for children, including on the Bill of Rights, Autism and Slavery. Allocated from the Anti-Sectarianism Fund
Changing Attitude Ireland
Changing Attitudes Ireland is a cross community organisation which aims to challenge prejudice against the LGBT communities through education and to facilitate dialogue between the churches and the LGBT community, including through interdenominational events in Cork, Dublin and Belfast. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Clonard Monastery Youth Centre
Clonard Monastery Youth Centre have an extensive programme of arts, sports, community relations and group based learning activities targeted at young people. The Centre runs community relations programmes with the Castlereagh and Suffolk areas. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Cooperation Ireland is a non-sectarian, non-political, registered charity established in 1979 in response to the conflict in Northern Ireland. Funding is awarded to create engagement between communities and young people in ‘hard to reach’ sectors North and South. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Corpus Christi Youth Centre
Corpus Christi Youth Centre provides social and personal development opportunities and training to young people aged 5-25. The organisation covers West Belfast but has young people attending from as far as Dunmurry, Finaghy, Glengormley, and beyond. This funding is for the Centre’s community relations and cultural traditions programmes, specifically their contact programmes with Tullycarnet, Knocknagoney, Carlingford and South City. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
The Corrymeela Community is a long standing reconciliation organisation. Its Creating Communities Programme, which targets young people and families, is designed to combat sectarianism. Allocated from the Anti-Sectarianism Fund
Creggan Country Park Enterprises Ltd
Situated in an economically deprived area, the aim of Creggan Country Park is “to improve the quality of life of those living in the North-West”. The project also provides a proactive diversionary programme of activity for young people in the city during contentious times in the locality. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Cross Border International Arts, Cultural & Sports Week
This is a cross border cross community event, organised between groups in Dunleer and Co. Armagh, which includes activities around the week of a major international sporting event, Rás na hÉireann. This allocation will support the historical and cross-border element of the event Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Cumann Culturtha Mhic Reachtain / McCracken Cultural Society
The McCracken Cultural Society was formed in New Lodge in 2000 to promote Irish language, history, music and dance across the communities in North Belfast. The Society organises Irish language classes, an Irish language outreach programme in 11 primary schools, a week long summer school and publishes a quarterly newsletter. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Downpatrick Listowel Linkage Group
This voluntary group was established in 1984 to promote cross-community and cross-border exchanges between Downpatrick and Listowel, Co. Kerry. These social, cultural and economic exchanges aim to reduce misconceptions between persons from different traditions and promote greater understanding. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Drugwiser Family Support Group
The group provides a safe confidential place for parents and siblings of addictive persons (drugs and alcohol) to meet and discuss common issues in a non-judgmental manner, affording an opportunity to share personal experiences, strengths and hopes. The group has links around Ireland and with similar groups in Glasgow and Coatbridge (Scotland), Merseyside and Farnborough (England). Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
East Belfast Community Focus (EBCF)
EBCF was created in 1999 to encourage links, exchanges and visits between Greater East Belfast and the Border counties and to promote reconciliation through culture. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
The Forge Family Resource Centre
The Centre was founded in 2006 to promote the educational, cultural & economic welfare of the community of Pettigo & Tullyhommon and its hinterland around the border between Donegal and Fermanagh. The Pettigo and Tullyhommon Youth group will hold a facilitated training programme of practical and theoretical exercises on culture and identity. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Gaslight Productions Ltd
Gaslight’s Epilogues programme explores themes central to an understanding of violent political conflict with a view to promoting peace-building and responsible citizenship. They have, to date, delivered 28 programmes to some 270 participants, including, victims of violence, ex-prisoners, ex security force personnel and youth workers. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Gig ‘n The Bann Cross-Community Festival
The organisation was formed in 2000 with the aim of promoting traditional Irish and Ulster Scots music and song on a cross community basis. Work is carried out during the year in preparation for the festival. The project is designed to bring together all communities in a cultural setting and to promote reconciliation. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Glencree Centre For Peace And Reconciliation
The Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that is devoted to peacebuilding and reconciliation in Ireland, North and South, Britain and beyond. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Glenshane Community Development Ltd.
This group aims to regenerate community which had been adversely affected by the conflict and to provide services and projects, including adult education, community outreach and provision of a neutral meeting space for the community. Allocated from the Anti-Sectarianism Fund
Guild of Uriel
The Guild of Uriel is a voluntary North-South group based in Co.Louth which was founded in 1995. Its aims are to build peace and to promote understanding through dialogue between people from the different traditions on the island. The Guild facilitates dialogue between victim’s groups, community and residents’ groups, interface communities, church groups, ex-prisoners’ groups and others. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Holy Family Youth Centre
Holy Family Youth Centre is a voluntary youth centre based on one of North Belfast’s many interfaces. They plan to develop and implement an anti-sectarianism strategy for youth workers and young people in Newington and Tigers Bay. Allocated from the Anti-Sectarianism Fund
Holywell Trust / Teenage Kickz
On 23 January 2009, the Minister for Foreign Affairs formally launched Derry City FC’s Football in the Community initiative, dubbed “Teenage Kickz”. The initiative is a community outreach service to young people that feel excluded from active citizenship, which in turn can act as a barrier to reconciliation. The initiative is a demonstration of genuine local leadership and cooperation working for the benefit of the entire community. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Institute for British Irish Studies (IBIS)
IBIS is seeking part-funding of its Evening Lecture Series. The series brings academics and policy makers from North and South and Ireland and Britain to discuss matters from both a political and grass-roots perspective. It encourages active debate on issues that are still central such as equality, economy, cross-border trade and business and women’s participation. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
InterAction Belfast is an established organisation working on Interface issues with all communities, mainly in West Belfast. Allocated from the Anti-Sectarianism Fund
Intercomm operates primarily in North Belfast. It promotes and facilitates community dialogue, build community leadership capacity, support groups in peace building activities, influence public policy, challenge sectarianism and promote reconciliation.
Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Ledley Hall Boys and Girls Club Trust Ltd.
Ledley Hall Boys and Girls Club Trust Ltd is a charity formed to help young people take control of their lives, working in partnership with them and providing opportunities for their development. They are situated in an interface area in East Belfast. Allocated from the Anti-Sectarianism Fund
Maiden City Festival
The Maiden City Festival was introduced as a means to reduce the potential for violence at Apprentice Boys of Derry events and to create a better understanding of Protestant culture amongst all communities “towards a shared city for all”. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Meath Peace Group
Meath Peace Group is a voluntary group founded in April 1993 which work towards holding public talks, networking, developing and expanding links, assisting other groups and Schools Programmes targeted at Transition Year students. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Mediation Northern Ireland
Mediation Northern Ireland’s mission is to promote good practice in mediation through the delivery of training services, building capacity in organisations and providing opportunities for reflective and relational leadership. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
New Belfast Community Arts Initiative
New Belfast’s aim, is to support communities, particularly those in deprived areas of Belfast, through the arts to nurture creativity, support learning, promote inclusiveness, target social and economic need and challenge sectarianism and racism. Allocated from the Anti-Sectarianism Fund
North Belfast Interface Network
North Belfast Interface Network was established in 2002 by community organisations to develop a strategic response to interface violence and develop community relations work in North Belfast (Ardoyne, Cliftonville, New Lodge). The current project includes a series of discussion groups to discuss living with interface walls in the decade after the “Good Friday Agreement”. Allocated from the Anti-Sectarianism Fund
Quaker Service provides community services for vulnerable individuals and families. It aims particularly to support disadvantaged mothers and children and prisoners and their families and to influence policy on criminal justice issues. Their cross-community Teenage Programme at Quaker Cottage (on Black Mountain) is aimed at ‘at risk’ teenagers from North and West Belfast, including many of whom suffer from learning diabilities. Allocated from the Anti-Sectarianism Fund
Rathcoole Friends of the Somme Assoc.
The objectives of this group is to advance education and promote knowledge of Ireland’s role in the Great War. Assistance is granted towards a lecture on the Dublin Fusillers and how families from Ireland were split with the Great War and the Easter Rising. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Roden Street Community Development Group
This 42-week programme aims to improve social relations between both sides of the Roden Street Interface. The project will target both young and old people from both sides of these deprived areas in awareness raising and practical engagement programme to focus on similarities rather than difference ultimately decreasing or eradicating sectarian activity. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Rural Community Network
RCN works with the most vulnerable and disadvantaged with towards rural community development. This project will bring them together with Irish Rural Link (based in Westmeath) to identify gaps and opportunities for future partnership and collaboration on a cross-border basis. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Saints Youth Centre
The Youth Centre provides advocacy, befriending and individual support programs for young people involved with paramilitaries. There is also an open door policy to the Club that enables every young person regardless of their ability, background or circumstances to drop-in and feel safe, secure and without obligations or demand. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Shalom House Community Resource
Shalom House’s role is to support, co-ordinate and foster community relations with leaders, young people and community workers in North Belfast and aims to develop a partnership with the Antiochian Orthodox Church on the Antrim Road. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
The overall aim of “Achieving Something Special” is to help 60-80 adults with learning disabilities from Catholic and Protestants communities develop life skills and give them a chance to actively participate in the community and society. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
The Speedwell Trust is a voluntary project based in Parkanaur Forest near Dungannon in Co Tyrone. Some 34 Protestant and Catholic primary schools have agreed to participate in a pilot project run by the Trust which allows children and their teachers to explore cultural identity in Northern Ireland and the Border Counties through sport. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
St. Peter’s Immaculata Youth Centre
St. Peter’s is a youth voluntary organisation based on the Falls Road. Funding is awarded for a contact programme for young people from St. Peters with those from other communities, particularly the loyalist community. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
St. Teresa’s Youth Centre
St. Teresa’s Youth Centre is a full-time voluntary unit based in Andersonstown in West Belfast. This funding is awarded towards preparing children to move out of single identity situations and meet young people from other traditions. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Star Neighbourhood Centre
Based in the New Lodge area of Belfast, (on the Duncairn Gardens Interface) the Centre provides pre-school and youth services, as well as a place for senior citizens to meet. Activities include an after school club, youth outreach and a residents support group. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Strathfoyle Youth Centre
This Youth Centre provides activities to young people from the Strathfoyle estate and surrounding Enagh ward, in areas including community education awareness, cross community programmes, single identity work and peer leadership training. The Centre will partner with Youth Clubs in County Donegal in a cross border youth project. Allocated from the Anti-Sectarianism Fund
Strawberry Tree Playgroup
The playgroup is located in a rural area outside Newry and caters for 26 preschool children from all communities. Its ethos is learning and development through free and organised play. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
Top of The Rock Healthy Living Centre
The centre provides cross-community workshops and training on, amongst others, stress management, drugs and alcohol and anger management, alongside its counselling and family support services. They also undertake health promotion in schools. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund.
Training for Women Network
Training for Women Network (TWN) aims to engage and empower women to contribute to post-conflict transition, reconciliation and reconstruction across the North and the southern border counties, including through accredited Peace & Reconciliation courses. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund.
Tyrone, Derry and Donegal Action
Formed by a group of experienced community practitioners, this group aims to promote reconciliation between Protestants and Catholics through building capacity, creating self-confidence and encouraging community development within rural and urban Protestant communities in counties Derry, Tyrone and Donegal. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund.
This church is engaged in cross community work in Dungannon and surrounding areas, including a number of valuable outreach schemes that help vulnerable individuals and families. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund.
Youth Initiatives (YI) is a cross community youth work organisation that aims to awaken hope, inspire initiative and mobilise young people in need to contribute to their community and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. This funding is awarded towards youth projects in Banbridge and Downpatrick. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund
This programme is aimed at adult volunteers working with young people and community groups in Belfast (e.g. GAA clubs, scout groups, faith groups) and is designed to help small community organisations engage successful in community relations and peace building. Allocated from the Reconciliation Fund.