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Tánaiste commits additional €1 million for Ireland’s Reconciliation Fund

Ireland, Northern Ireland Peace Process, Tánaiste Simon Coveney, Commemorations, Press Releases, Ireland, Great Britain, 2018

Tánaiste commits additional €1 million for Ireland’s Reconciliation Fund

 

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney T.D., has marked the 20th anniversary of the referendums on the Good Friday Agreement with a commitment of an additional €1 million in support of reconciliation on the island of Ireland.

 

Speaking at an event in Iveagh House to mark the 20th anniversary, the Tánaiste said

 

“This is a tangible expression of our commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and to the message of reconciliation which is at its heart.

Today is about the people of the island of Ireland, North and South, who twenty years ago voted resoundingly in favour of peace and reconciliation. It is particularly fitting then that today we are able to announce this further support for the essential reconciliation work being carried out by civil society and individuals in Northern Ireland and indeed across this island.”

 

The Tánaiste added:

 

The Good Friday Agreement is the People’s Agreement; the people who share this island and their relationships with each other are at the heart of reconciliation.

 

I and the Irish Government are committed to providing the support necessary to ensure that the vital work of reconciliation is protected and progressed. This additional funding will increase the amount available through the Reconciliation Fund to €3.7 million each year.”

 

Speaking following the award of prizes to students who participated in a joint Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade / Department of Education & Skills creative competition for primary and post-primary schools, the Tánaiste said:

 

The response of so many young people to this competition was inspiring. Peace and reconciliation is the work of generations and the next phase of this work will be in good hands given the commitment and creativity shown by all those who entered this competition.”

 

Notes for Editors

Reconciliation Fund

 

  • The Reconciliation Fund has been in existence since 1982 and was increased significantly following the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. All parties to that Agreement undertook to “positively examine the case for enhanced financial assistance for the work of reconciliation.”
  • As a result, the Irish Government has provided increased support through the Reconciliation Fund since 1998. In the 2014 Stormont House Agreement, the Government committed to “support measures to promote reconciliation, including through continued annual provision of €2.7m in the Reconciliation Fund”. The €1 million announced by the Tánaiste today is an additional €1 million bringing the total funding to €3.7 million.
  • Further information can be found at www.dfa.ie/reconciliation.

 

Schools competition

 

  • To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the endorsement of Good Friday Agreement by the people of the island of Ireland through two referendums, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Education and Skills jointly organised a unique competition for primary and post-primary school students to produce creative works on the theme of ’20 Years of Peace and Reconciliation on the island of Ireland.’

 

  • Over eighty entries were received – from poems and prose to paintings and short films – all of which reflected on the pivotal role of the Good Friday Agreement in creating peace on the island of Ireland since 1998.

 

  • Prize winners in five categories took part in a prize-giving ceremony, held as part of a day of public events at Iveagh House recalling the Good Friday Agreement as The People’s Agreement, which will include guided tours, exhibition, panel discussion and a keynote address by the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D.

 

The five prize winners are:

  • Primary Level Visual Arts category – Ella Taylor, Scoil Mhuire na nGael (Dundalk, Co. Louth)
  • Primary Level Written Word category – Grace Conway, Our Lady of Lourdes School (Ballinlough, Cork)
  • Post-Primary Level Visual Arts category – Lauren McKenna, St Louis Secondary School (Monaghan)
  • Post-Primary Level Written Word category – Eoghan Kennedy, Gorey Community School (Co. Wexford)
  • Special Reconciliation Prize – Eglish National School (Co. Galway)