Gerry Adams steps up pressure on Irish and British Governments to move quickly to ensure Peace 3 funding is delivered
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has raised with the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern TD the issue of Peace 3 funding for Peace and Reconciliation projects in the North and border counties.
Mr. Adams conversation with the Taoiseach follows his meetings last week with the EU Commission on Regional Development Danuta Hübner and the British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Peace 1 and Peace 2 each delivered hundreds of millions of Euros to a wide range of groups involved in delivering peace and reconciliation work. The EU Commissioner informed Mr Adams that an additional several hundred million Euro was available for a Peace 3 fund but that both the British and Irish Governments had to ask for it. This needs to be done in the next few weeks otherwise the money is likely to be incorporated into the wider EU budget.
Mr. Adams said:
"I raised the Peace 3 fund with Mr. Blair and the British Secretary of State Peter Hain on Thursday. I was assured by both that they would move quickly to ensure that the British request was in on time and that this money was acquired from the EU. I subsequently spoke to the Taoiseach and raised this issue with him. Mr. Ahern also undertook to expedite the Irish government's response to this issue.
If both governments move quickly I am confident that the EU Commission Ms Hübner will add her considerable support to the release of funds.
The Peace 3 projects will run from 2007 to 2013. They will ensure the continuation of much of the valuable work currently undertaken. However, there is a urgent need for all of the groups involved, along with political parties to step up the lobby to secure the additional funding that a seven year programme will require."ENDS