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Where is Peace II money going

04 August 2004

Democratic Unionist Party MEP Jim Allister has today called for greater parity of esteem in the allocation of Peace II European funding. Jim believes that a disproportionately high level of funding is being set aside for prisoners groups and in particular, republican prisoners projects, while projects which are catering for innocent victims of violence and terrorism are sidelined and ignored.


Speaking today, Jim Allister said, “It has been a long recognised fact that groups which cater for innocent victims of terrorism in Northern Ireland are under-funded and often encounter difficulties when attempting to gain access to support for their programmes. This is in sharp contrast to those groups which cater for the “needs” of prisoners, who seem to find no difficulty at all in attracting enormous levels of public funding.


A recently published document, entitled “Taking calculated risks for Peace II” makes very interesting reading indeed. This document published jointly by the EU Fund for Peace and Reconciliation and the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland details how this money is being spent. Some of the groups who are receiving massive financial subsidies leave a lot to be desired.


Just to provide a few pertinent examples, “An Eochair Ex-Prisoner Support Group” received £149,259.50 of public money, a cross border republican prisoners outfit which operates in Armagh and Louth was awarded £138, 556 from the public purse, and astonishingly, the “Coiste na n-larchimi” group, which describes itself as “the effective management of the cross border republican ex-prisoner network” was awarded £424, 880.


Those enormous sums of money should be set aside for the people who deserve it, no those who have done their level best to destroy life and property in Northern Ireland. Over recent days I have made contact with cultural and victims groups and shall be doing my best to ensure that the people who really deserve this funding are gaining proper access to it”.

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Peace Funding