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Jim Allister offers nothing positive to debate on Peace Funding

24 October, 2008 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún commenting on Jim Allister's latest attack on EU Peace Funding and the Special European Union Programmes Body has said that yet again he is making no positive contribution to the issue of EU funding and the vital role it has played across all communities particularly in breaking down barriers.

Ms de Brún said:

"Jim Allister has continually tried to claim that the distribution of EU money through the Peace Programmes is baised against unionists. However, the facts show that this is not the case, particularly when the far higher levels of disadvantage that exists in many nationalist areas is taken into account.

"Jim Allister works on the basis that if he appeals to the lowest common denominator often enough that it will some how bring about some narrow personal political advantage. The sad truth is that this approach offers nothing in terms of making sure that we get the sort of political progress that will make a real difference to the lives of people in all of the communities in the north.

"Peace Funding is there to make a real difference to all of those affected by the conflict including republicans and ex-prisoners. It is ridiculous to suggest that their inclusion I this programme is evidence of bias.

"Laistigh de na cláir PEACE cumhachtaíodh grúpaí a bhí imeallaithe roimhe agus cumhachtaíodh daoine a ndeachaigh an choimhlint go mór i bhfeidhm orthu chun cabhrú le síocháin a thógáil go gníomhach. The PEACE programmes have empowered previously marginalised groups and those most affected by the conflict to contribute to actively building peace" ENDS

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