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International Fund hosts visit of members of European Parliament (MEPs) in Dundalk

Published on:  06 Jul 2007

The International Fund for Ireland (IFI) has today hosted a visit by a delegation of senior MEPs from the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgets.

The delegation met with the Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland and members of the New Border Generation Group, based in Carlingford, Co. Louth, who have benefited in recent years from IFI funding, contributed in large part by the EU.

Mr. Denis Rooney, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland, briefed the delegation about the Fund’s work in bringing together the nationalist and unionist communities in Northern Ireland and the border counties.  Paying tribute to the generous contribution and continued support that has come from Europe, Denis Rooney said: “I am delighted to have had this opportunity to meet directly with the EU Parliament’s Committee on Budgets and to present first hand, the valuable work of the Fund and in particular, the activities currently carried out through the New Border Generation Group.  Groups such as New Border Generation play a vital role in reaching out and creating networks that build bridges and mutual understanding between divided nationalist and unionist communities.”

While Mr. Rooney highlighted the achievements of the Fund, he also noted that “much remains to be done to deliver a sustainable peace.”  He commented that “the International Fund for Ireland’s strategy is now committed to a stronger focus on reconciliation and integration across the community.”

The EU has contributed to the International Fund for Ireland since 1989.  To date, the EU has committed over EUR304million towards activities of the Fund, promoting economic and social advance and encouraging contact, dialogue and reconciliation between unionists and nationalists throughout Ireland.  The EU has pledged a further EUR15million per year for the period to 2010.

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