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International Fund For Ireland announces €730,000 (£500,000) for new community relations programmes

Published on:  14 Dec 2006


The International Fund for Ireland has today announced €12.6m/£8.6m of funding for a range of initiatives designed to encourage and support opportunities to build better cross community and cross border relationships in Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland.

As part of this latest package of funding, the International Fund announced €730,000/£500,000 of support through its ‘Community Bridges’ programme, which aims to promote reconciliation and stronger, more positive community relations, with a clear emphasis on allowing people to address their issues of difference and division more effectively.

The Community Bridges funding will support a range of community organisations across Northern Ireland and the border counties including:-

The 174 Trust: an inter-denominational faith based community development organisation in north Belfast, the Trust will receive €181,495/£124,312 of support to implement its community relations strategy.  The Trust’s work takes place in areas with high degrees of violence and polarization and is working to secure a shared future for young people and future generations.

Tides Training: a not for profit organisation established in 2000, Tides Training emerged from the Corrymeela Community and specializes in delivering training programmes in community relations, good relations and mediation. Its Breakout Labour Mobility Project is designed to address the effects of sectarianism, community conflict and segregation on the capacity of individuals and groups to seek employment in areas outside their own segregated districts.  The Fund has provided €240,097/£164,450 to make this programme more widely available following a successful pilot in south and east Belfast.  It is hoped that up to 300 individuals will now be able to take part in this innovative programme.

Holywell Trust: the Fund has agreed support of €196,845/£134,825 towards the Trust’s Walled City Neighbourhood Project to be based in Derry city centre.  The project will assess the local communities’ perception of the city centre as a ‘shared space’ and engage users in the local area to make a difference to improving the area’s community relations.

Irish Peace Institute: formally established in 1984, the Institute is based in the University of Limerick.  The Fund’s support of €100,000/£68,493 will be used to build the Institute’s capacity in preparation for a major three year reconciliation programme, building sustainable cross-community and cross border relationships between designated districts on the island of Ireland.

Commenting on today’s announcement, International Fund Chairman Denis Rooney said: “We are finishing 2006 with a sense of tentative optimism about Northern Ireland’s political future and yet there is still so much to be done to secure a lasting peace and to start to overcome the issues of the past so that we can move forward together.

“The funding support which we have announced today is part of the Fund’s continuing commitment to delivering sustainable activity, which will have long term impact in local communities – we must now, more than ever, concern ourselves with delivering long term change for Northern Ireland and the border counties.
“The work of the Fund would not be possible without the support of our donors and the Board would like to express its thanks to the contributors to the Fund which include the United States, the European Union, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.”

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