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Onus rests with British Government to secure PEACE III funding - de Brún

7 November, 2005

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today said that PEACE III funding can be secured for the period between 2007 and 2013, but that 'the British Government must commit itself to make the formal request to the EU.'

Ms de Brún made her comments after researchers at the University of Ulster said that hundreds of jobs could be lost if a PEACE III programme was not secured.

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"Securing a PEACE III programme for the period between 2007 and 2013 is a Sinn Féin priority. We have been working tirelessly towards ensuring that this happens. In recent months I have met with both the British and Irish Governments, as well as the European Commissioner for Regional Development, Danuta Hubner to press the case.

„There is now an onus upon the British government to make a formal request to the European Commission for the allocation of an extended period of PEACE funding. As we emerge from a period of sustained conflict, the British Government has a particular responsibility and contribution to make towards peace and reconciliation in Ireland. The promotion and empowerment of the community sector must be a priority for the British Government if that sector is to be able to carry on its vital work of peace building and reconciliation.

"Without wishing to be alarmist, it is increasingly clear that if PEACE III funding is not secured then many community organisations and projects involved in peace building and reconciliation will find themselves in a precarious financial position. I have witnessed at first hand the invaluable work undertaken throughout the Six Counties and the border region.

"It is my aim to see that the good work of the community sector is not lost, but is built upon in the time ahead.‰ ENDS

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