independent

Monday 18 June 2018

Peace IV Fund gives Louth a €2.2m financial boost

Gina McIntyre, Chief Executive Officer of the Special EU Programmes Body, Cllr. Colm Markey and Joan Martin, Louth County Council at the launch of the Louth County Council Peace IV action plan in The Crowne Plaza
Gina McIntyre, Chief Executive Officer of the Special EU Programmes Body, Cllr. Colm Markey and Joan Martin, Louth County Council at the launch of the Louth County Council Peace IV action plan in The Crowne Plaza

Margaret Roddy

Louth is getting a €2.2million boost thanks to the European Union's PEACE IV Programme.

Details of thirteen programmes which will be funded through the PEACE IV Local Action Plan were announced by Louth County Council at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dundalk last Tuesday.

The importance of the Peace IV programme was highlighted by speakers including the chairperson of Louth County Council, Cllr Colm Markey, Gina McIntyre Chief Executive of the Special EU Programmes Body, and Joan Martin, Chief Executive Louth County Council and Chair of the PEACE IV Partnership.

Cllr Markey welcomed the funding and noted that the programme had evolved over the past 23 years. It supports the important role of diversity in society as well as working on building good cross border relationships.

'This has been a very important programme for this region,' said Ms McIntyre. She accepted that it had been a frustrating process to get to the stage where letters of offer were being made and she was looking forward to seeing ow the money will be spent.

The programme involves the European Union, the UK and Irish governments and while the relationship was obviously strained at the moment, there was agreement on the benefits of the programme and for the need for it to continue,

She noted that EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier had stated during his recent visit that he wished to see the Peace Programme continue.

'We can be optimistic but should never be complacent,' she said of the future of the programme post-Brexit.

The money from the programme goes directly through the Irish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive, with 85% of the funding coming from the European Regional Development Fund and 15% fro the two governments.

The latest round of funding will support 17 action plans with a big emphasis on children and young people, building cross community and cross border relations and shared spaces and services. Ms Joan Martin reflected on the announcement of 400 jobs for Dundalk and the visit of Michel Barnier to Dundalk the previous week, saying the jobs announcement was 'marvellous' and proof that, despite the challenges facing the region, Dundalk still had great assets and infrastructure.

'I know and have seen the impact this Programme has had on our county,' she said.

Drogheda Independent

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