Pictured (L-R): Siobhan Fitzpatrick, Allen McAdam, Dr Adrian Johnston, Hilary Singleton and Billy Gamble
Peace and reconciliation projects in Northern Ireland and the southern border counties received a welcome boost as the International Fund for Ireland today committed €2.7m towards 20 initiatives.
The funding includes €536,000 for four new projects that will support vulnerable young people who are unable to access or remain in traditional education and training provision.
More than €1m will be shared among nine performance improvement projects aimed at transforming marginalised communities, and a further €1m has been allocated to seven initiatives that are developing new dialogue on the future of Peace Walls.
Since 2012, the Fund has committed more than €5.6m towards Peace Walls projects and played key role in the recent removal of a division on the Crumlin Road in Belfast.
Dr Adrian Johnston, chairman of the International Fund for Ireland, said: “This is a timely commitment that concentrates much-needed funding towards 20 projects that are stabilising communities and giving young people new positive options. Today’s announcement is our largest in the last four years and strengthens our reach in some areas that have been opposed to the political settlement.
He continued: “With our assistance, many communities that are vulnerable to violence have become more resilient and remained with the Peace Process. We are supporting groups who are taking measured risks and developing new ideas to transform their communities. The achievements of this approach in recent years are significant and set us apart from other funders.”