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International

International Fund for Ireland announces £3.7m/€4.5m support for peace building projects

Published on:  16 Nov 2011

Fund looks to the future with commitment to new Peace Studies Chair

The International Fund for Ireland has announced financial assistance of £3.7m/€4.5m towards a wide range of initiatives which will contribute towards peace building and reconciliation between Unionists and Nationalists in Northern Ireland and the southern border counties.  Of particular note is a financial commitment of £1m/€1.2m by the Fund towards the cost of establishing a new Chair of Peace Studies, currently being proposed by the University of Ulster and to be located at the Magee Campus in Derry/Londonderry.

The announcement was made following the Fund's recent Board meeting which took place in Rathmullan, County Donegal. Commenting on the announcement, Dr Denis Rooney CBE, Chairman of the Fund, said:

"We are immensely proud of the contribution the International Fund for Ireland has made in the North West region over the past twenty five years.  This area was gravely affected by the violence of the Troubles and people here have known particular hardship.  The Fund has supported a wide range of economic initiatives and community relations programmes aimed at realising the extraordinary potential of the North West region, and we are proud to continue our efforts.

“Today’s funding announcement is particularly focussed on looking to the future in Northern Ireland and in the border region and through our Leaving a Legacy Programme, we are delighted to give our financial commitment and support to a number of exciting projects that will make a sustainable contribution to promoting peace building efforts.  We are also supporting a significant number of projects under our Community Based Economic and Social Regeneration Programme in which we aim to promote cross-community and cross-border contact in recognised areas of disadvantage and social isolation.”

The Chairman also took the opportunity to thank the international donors to the Fund – the European Union and the Governments of the United States of America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand for their support.

This latest funding package which amounts to £3.7m/€4.5m includes specific allocations to a number of key programmes and projects as follows:

  • The Fund’s Community Based Economic and Social Regeneration Programme will provide £1.25m/€1.5m to several projects that will help to bring about lasting community development and positive change.  Among the beneficiaries will be Belturbet Community Development Association in County Cavan.  Their project will receive £273,375/€328,050 towards capital refurbishment of the local Town Hall, which will be transformed and redeveloped as a community development facility, engaging a broad cross- section of the communities in dedicated training, reconciliation and peace building activities.
  • The Fund’s Community Bridges Programme will provide £510,326/€612,391 to two projects to continue community relations and reconciliation work. The LINC (Local Initiatives for Needy Communities) Resource Centre will receive £289,442/€347,330 towards the cost of its Learning Through Engagement project which will provide a series of activities targeted at urban and rural women’s groups leading to cross-community and cross-border collaboration for mutual development.  Geographic regions to be targeted include Greater Belfast, Derry/Londonderry and Fermanagh, and linked to the latter, various cross-border communities.  The 174 Trust has been awarded £220,884/ €265,060 towards the cost of the Together Stronger project.  The purpose of the project is to engage large numbers of people of all ages in a range of diverse cross-interface activities in and around the Carlisle Circus and Antrim Road areas of North Belfast.  It will also help raise the profile of the Trust in the area, ahead of the opening of its new centre on the Antrim Road, which is also being supported by the Fund.
  • £109,930/€131,916 has been allocated to the Derry/Londonderry YMCA/YMCA Ireland (Donegal) organisations under the Fund’s Integrating Community Organisations Programme.  The funding will support the next phase of the Finding Your Place project, which aims to build the capacity of young adults in Donegal, Strabane and Derry/Londonderry in order that they will be able to join existing community/voluntary groups in their communities at a decision-making level.  Key issues to be dealt with include personal development, reconciliation, conflict resolution and active citizenship.
  • £1,903,845/€2,284,614 allocated to the Fund’s Leaving a Legacy Programme.  This includes £903,845/€1,084,614 for the Open Hands Centre, Belfast by providing capital funding towards the building of a shared centre at the Peace Wall in Northumberland Street, Belfast.  The project is to address a number of issues including peace building, mentoring local people, men’s health, family development, education and enterprise stimulation.  £1m/€1.2m has also been committed by the Fund towards the cost of establishing a new Chair of Peace Studies currently being proposed by The University of Ulster.  The Chair would be based at the University’s Magee Campus in Derry/Londonderry, the base of INCORE (International Conflict Research Unit), the larger of the three university departments working in the field of conflict resolution and reconciliation.

Full Details of Funding Announcement - November 2011

Building Foundations

Community Based Economic and Social Regeneration

Newtowncunningham Inter- Church Committee

£95,766/€114,919 towards a two-year programme of activities including healthy living, arts and crafts, history story-telling, sport, and IT training. Each activity will have a direct community relations outcome. The village is situated in the middle of the Laggan in Donegal close to the Donegal/Derry/Londonderry border, where the protestant community represents between 30 - 45% of the community. The Interchurch Committee has an impressive record of cross-community work and will use these events to address the silent sectarianism which is still evident in the East Donegal region.

Malin Head Community Association

£85,000/€102,000 towards the delivery of a Community Development Programme in Malin Head and the surrounding areas. Malin Head is part of the wider hinterland of Derry/Londonderry and has its own legacy of the Troubles. The programme will develop the newly renovated community centre as a shared community space and bring the communities of both traditions together through a range of activities aimed at promoting reconciliation, building positive relationships and socially and economically regenerating the local community. These activities will include parenting classes, healthy eating, performing arts and after-school clubs.

Belturbet Community Development Association

£273,375/€328,050 towards capital refurbishment of the local Town Hall which will be redeveloped as a community development facility in commemoration of the two young people, Geraldine O’Reilly from Belturbet and Patrick Stanley from Clara, County Offaly, who were killed by a loyalist car bomb in Belturbet on 28th December 1972.  Belturbet Community Development Association is the lead agency for supporting and developing the capacity of the people of Belturbet.  The project shall be enhanced by engaging a broad cross-section of the communities in dedicated training and reconciliation and peace building activities.

Smashing Times Theatre Group

£144,448/€173,338 towards the implementation of a two-year project involving theatre, drama and the arts. The project aims to use the arts as a means of working initially with 3 identified groups from the east border region.  The project will subsequently deliver workshops, seminars and facilitated performances to support and train community groups, teachers, facilitators etc in the use of drama as a tool for reconciliation. Through working with the initial groups they hope to extend the project to other groups and communities in the border region and to maximise the sustainability of the project and the use of drama as a tool for reconciliation in the future in the region. All activities will be aimed at increasing local capacity and promoting reconciliation amongst participants from both sides of the community.

Cavan County Council – Together for the Future

£210,133/€252,160 towards a two-year project which will utilise drama, music and the creative arts to deliver a message of peace and reconciliation to participants and to the wider community through its cross-community and cross-border audiences, ultimately building a shared future for the cross-border area. Cavan County Council has a particular strength and track record in utilising the arts as a medium to develop peace and reconciliation on a cross-community basis. They have also developed significant cross-border relationships particularly in County Fermanagh.  This project will enhance and build upon these relationships in the pursuit of a more open, inclusive and integrated society.  

Building Bridges

Community Bridges Programme

LINC Resource Centre

£289,442/€347,330 towards the cost of the ‘Learning Through Engagement’ project which will provide a series of activities targeted at urban and rural women’s groups in Belfast, Derry/Londonderry, Fermanagh and the southern border counties leading to cross-community and cross-border collaboration for mutual development.  It will create a learning experience that will train and empower women’s groups to create and deliver local cross-community programmes which will continue after the project ends.  The project will connect participant groups to a province-wide and cross-border Learning Through Engagement network that will support on-going community relations skills and inform local community initiatives. These encounters will be reinforced by on-going mentoring support and a series of formal training events under the themes of Leadership Development; Citizenship and Civic Society; Capacity Building and Group Development; Skills and Sustainability Training; and Understanding Culture and Conflict.   

174 Trust

£220,884/€265,060 towards the cost of the Together Stronger project using the shared space at the Duncairn complex on the Antrim Road and the Hope Link Centre at Carlisle Circus as the focus for the project. The 174 Trust is an inter-denominational unaligned faith based community development organisation established in 1982.  Its mission is to work with local people helping them to identify and meet local needs. The Trust’s local community work is focused in North Belfast where the Trust owns the Duncairn Complex as a shared space - the buildings were previously a Presbyterian Church, Halls and Manse built in the early 1860s. The purpose of the Together Stronger project is to engage large numbers of people of all ages in a range of diverse cross-interface activities in and around the Carlisle Circus and Antrim Road areas of North Belfast.

Building Integration

Integrating Community Organisations Programme

Derry/Londonderry YMCA/YMCA Ireland

£109,930/€131,916 towards the next phase of the Finding Your Place project. In November 2008 and May 2009 the International Fund for Ireland approved financial assistance of £174,026/€208,832 for the Finding Your Place project, a partnership project between Derry/Londonderry YMCA and Donegal YMCA.  This project is nearing its end and has been very successful in building the capacity of young adults in Donegal, Tyrone and Londonderry in order that they may be enabled to work with community/voluntary groups in their communities at a decision-making level. This next phase of the Finding Your Place project aims to build the capacity of young adults in Donegal, Strabane and Derry City Council areas in order that they may be able to join existing community/voluntary groups in their communities at a decision-making level.  Key issues dealt with will include personal development, reconciliation, conflict resolution and active citizenship.

Leaving a Legacy

The Open Hands Centre

£903,845/€1,084,614 in capital funding towards a shared centre at the Peace Wall in  Northumberland Street, Belfast. The project is to address a number of issues including peace building, mentoring local people, men’s health, family development, education and enterprise stimulation. The location of the proposed new centre is right on the peace line and has long standing linkages across it into the Falls area. This means that the group, and the centre, is ideally placed to bring people from both communities together in a meaningful way.

University of Ulster Hume-O’Neill Chair of Peace Studies

£1,000,000/€1,200,000 towards the cost of establishing a new Chair of Peace Studies at the University of Ulster, a leading institution on the island of Ireland working in the areas of conflict transformation and peace building.  The Chair to be based at the Magee Campus in Derry/Londonderry, will link a number of university departments currently involved in supporting peace building and conflict resolution both on the island of Ireland and on a world wide basis.

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