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de Brún welcome for new IFI Five Year Plan

19 January, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today welcomed the launch of the new priorities set by the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) for the next five years.

Ms de Brún said:

„Since its launch in 1986 the International Fund has contributed to a variety of important projects both in the six counties and the border areas. The EU, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and US have all sponsored this important fund in that time.

"On a recent trip to Australia and New Zealand, I lobbied politicians and government representatives there for a renewed contribution to the International Fund from those countries. Such contributions, along with further guarantees from the US and Canada would contribute considerably to the type of progress that could be made arising from the ambitious five year programme of activity launched today.

" Ireland economically and politically has changed greatly since the mid 1980s. Much good work has been done on which we can now all build and the decision by the IFI to concentrate on reconciliation and cross border projects over the next five years is a welcome reflection of that reality.

" All of us in political leadership need to concentrate on consolidating the progress made in recent times and building upon it. Part of that work must be to ensure Peace III funding from the EU, a continuation of the good work done by IFI and the securing of a genuine peace dividend from the British and Irish government to underpin the work of any future power sharing executive." ENDS

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