Belfast Telegraph

9.8m euro for community projects

Projects to tackle division in Ireland and across the border have been handed almost ten million euro in funding.

The cash boost from the International Fund For Ireland will support programmes involved in breaking down barriers in education, combating divisions between communities and supporting projects that are tackling economic and social problems.

The 9.8 million euro funding will benefit groups in a string of areas including Sligo, Louth, Donegal, Tyrone and Antrim.

Fund chairman Dr Denis Rooney said: "This funding announcement forms part of our current strategy to focus and support new and innovative work around integration in education, housing and family support, and continuing support for community organisations and youth programmes.

"This much-needed funding will play a critical role in reaching many communities where the benefits of peace-building and reconciliation have yet to be felt."

He thanked the international donors to the fund - the European Union and the governments of the United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand - for their support.

More than 4.1 million euro has been allocated to the fund's Sharing in Education programme while about 2.5 million euro will be used to help economic and social regeneration in local communities.

A programme aimed at 12-25-year-olds in Donegal and Tyrone will be awarded more than 1.5 million euro and one million euro has been earmarked for the Donegal and Strabane county councils' Leaving A Legacy programme.

The International Fund for Ireland is an independent international organisation established by the Irish and British governments in 1986.

The Fund's main objectives are to promote economic and social development, and encourage contact, dialogue and reconciliation between unionists and nationalists throughout Ireland.

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