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IFI Chairman Paddy Harte

IFI welcomes the restoration of the NI Assembly

Published on:  13 Jan 2020

The International Fund for Ireland welcomes the announcement over the weekend of the restoration of the NI Assembly, following the endorsement from all political parties of the draft deal ‘New Decade, New Approach’.  

The deal, which was published by the British and Irish Governments’ last week, contains new Programme for Government commitments, including, critically, ​tackling paramilitarism​ and ending the harm associated with paramilitary activity.  The agreement also includes a commitment to future support for the IFI in recognition of the important role it plays in peacebuilding at a community level.

Paddy Harte, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland said;

“On behalf of the International Fund for Ireland, I welcome the news that the NI Assembly has been restored and with it a new Executive is in place to push forward a new Programme for Government.

“This announcement comes at a critical time for the communities we support and indeed for the Fund as we plan our strategy for 2021-2024. We have been without local decision making in Stormont for just over three years and during that time we have witnessed heightened tensions within many communities. With this new announcement, alongside the potential clarity around Brexit, we are committed to developing partnerships aimed at building sustainable communities built on trust, respect and mutual benefit.   

Mr Harte continued;

“Tackling paramilitarism is one of the commitments for the new Programme for Government and the Fund looks forward to working in collaboration with the NI Executive and British and Irish Governments to address this issue. 

“We also welcome the continued support and recognition from both the British and Irish Governments of the work of the Fund. The Irish Government has committed to, in principle, significant additional funding for the Fund, to support the delivery of our Strategy 2021-2024.  Similarly, the UK Government has committed to contributing to the work of the Fund and to provide additional funding for​ tackling paramilitarism.

“Joined up working with partners and international supporters will be vital in making a real difference to the lives of people in the most hard to reach communities.

“It is important to acknowledge the support the Fund has received from the British and Irish Governments in the past and to recognise the important role played by the NI Secretary of State Julian Smith MP and Tánaiste Simon Coveney TD in facilitating the talks process. 

“The Fund is committed to working with all partners in providing better opportunities for communities across NI and border counties”.  

For further information about our funding programmes, or for information on how to apply for funding, please contact the person(s) or organisation(s) identifed at the end of the relevant programme summary in the areas of activity section.

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