To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the value of current expenditure on the peace and reconciliation fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Darragh O'Brien.
* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 20th June, 2017.
Ref No: 27108/17
Part of the Government’s work in support of the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement is promoting reconciliation on the island of Ireland. A significant expression of this is the Reconciliation Fund, which is administered by my Department.
The Fund’s aim is to enable organisations to pursue projects promoting genuine and lasting reconciliation and building sustainable community relations. It forms part of the Government’s overall efforts to help overcome the legacy of the past and to meet the challenge of building a genuinely reconciled society based on values of mutual respect and understanding. Between the establishment of the Fund in 1982 and the end of 2016 over €48 million in funding has been allocated to over 2,000 projects.
The signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 committed parties to “positively examine the case for enhanced financial assistance for the work of reconciliation”, leading to a significant increase in funding for the Reconciliation Fund by the Government at the time. As part of the 2014 Stormont House Agreement, the Government committed itself to guaranteeing the continued allocation of €2.7 million annually to the Reconciliation Fund.
Last year, the Reconciliation Fund made grants to over 120 projects, supporting organisations across the community and voluntary sector. These groups are building meaningful links across communities, addressing the issues that are impacting on their lives, including sectarianism, and are working to create better understanding between people and traditions on the island of Ireland and between Ireland and Britain.
Detailed lists of the grants awarded are available on the Department’s website