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International Fund for Ireland commits £590,000/€775,000 to 24 community projects

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The International Fund for Ireland has confirmed £590,000/€775,000 of financial assistance to support 24 projects designed to address contentious issues and reduce community tensions in Northern Ireland and the southern border counties.

The commitment, approved at the Funds recent Board Meeting in Ballymena, includes £137,000/€191,800 to extend four Peace Walls initiatives – three in Belfast and one in Londonderry/Derry – that have successfully built cross-community confidence and started new dialogue about potential changes to interface barriers.

The remaining funding will support 20 projects delivered through the Peace Impact Programme (PIP), 17 of which are extensions and three are new initiatives. In the past two years, the Fund has invested more than £4million/€5.6million in PIP to enable communities affected by the legacy of conflict to tackle complex social issues and reduce paramilitary influences.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr Adrian Johnston Chairman of the Fund, said:

We are pleased to award financial assistance to the 24 projects and commend them for their willingness to take calculated risks to support individuals and communities in challenging environments.  In difficult times, the Fund has carefully and deliberately sought to engage in areas where the political settlement is opposed and where the risk of violence and destabilisation remains high.

“The Peace Impact and Peace Walls programmes have secured remarkable progress and started significant phases of social and physical transformation that have reduced both the risk of sectarian violence and paramilitary influence.

He added:

“Our programmes have facilitated important groundwork, but the demand greatly outstrips the resources currently available to us. It is important that other funders seek to capitalise on the gains we have made with ambition and a readiness to support communities that feel excluded from the Peace Process.”

The latest funding package includes awards to three new PIP projects:

  • £40,880/€57,232 to Bready & District Ulster Scots Development Association to run a dedicated six-month “Cultural Apprenticeship” pilot programme from July to December.  The project will engage 10 to 12 participants, from across the new Derry City and Strabane District Council area.

 

  • £21,341/€29,877 to Londonderry YMCA to run a dedicated six-month cross-community pilot programme that will engage 20 participants form the Currynierin, Tullyally and Drumahoe areas in the Waterside Area of Londonderry/Derry.

 

  • £39,820/€55,748 to Strabane Accessing Youth Engagement to build upon work the progress of a previous PIP project that operated across the Strabane, Glebe and Clady area in Tyrone.  The new project will offer a range of training and programming for vulnerable young people who are at risk of engaging in anti-social or criminal behaviour.

Further information about all the beneficiaries from the International Fund for Ireland’s latest funding package is available at the International Fund for Ireland’s website: www.internationalfundforireland.com

Click here to download press release