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DUP information evening on PEACE II welcome but unfounded claims will not bridge divide

29 June, 2005


Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today called upon Jim Allister MEP to work with her 'to ensure that all communities, regardless of their religious or ethnic make up can avail of PEACE Funding based upon objective needs'.

Ms de Brún made her comments before DUP MEP Jim Allister is due to hold an information evening tonight, for representatives of the unionist community on PEACE II funding in the North.

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"Jim Allister's decision to hold an information evening on the impact and distribution of PEACE funding is to be welcomed. It is vitally important that community groups and other such organisations are fully informed about funding opportunities. However, the advertising for this evening's meeting has been based on unfounded claims. Mr Allister has billed the meeting as an opportunity 'to address the anti-Unionist bias which has existed' in the PEACE programme.

"Mr Allister's assertion that there has been an anti-unionist bias in the allocation of PEACE funding is without foundation. This funding has been distributed on the basis of need, and should continue to be based on such criteria in future.

"As a fellow MEP, I am calling upon Mr Allister, and indeed Jim Nicholson to work with me to ensure all communities, regardless of their religious or ethnic make up can avail of PEACE Funding based upon objective needs. Mr Allister must recognise that without the peace process, such funding would not be possible. It is actually ironic that the DUP have consistently opposed the peace process, but are prepared to accept the benefits which flow from it." ENDS

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