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Bairbre de Brún to present award at Cross Border Achievement Awards ceremony

3 March, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún will this morning travel to participate in a cross border awards ceremony at the Slieve Russell Hotel in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan.

The event is sponsored by a number of companies including the Bank of Ireland and the Daily Ireland and will be addressed by Pat Colgan , Chief Executive of the Special EU Programmes Body.

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"I am pleased to have been asked to present an award at the inaugural 'Cross Border Achievement Awards' event in Co Cavan. Today's event is about recognising and celebrating the achievements of groups and individuals from across the community, including the business sector and sport and cultural organisations.

"At today's event 50 awards will be presented to those who have excelled in their areas of work. Cross-border work is about finding local solutions to local problems and ensuring that the border disrupts networks and relationships to the least degree possible. In spite of all of the disadvantages brought by the partition of Ireland, it is positive to see that entrepreneurship, community development and peace and reconciliation work has flourished throughout the years. The wide range of projects also shows that the benefits of such work are not confined to those areas immediately adjacent to the border.

"I want to pay special tribute to all of those who will be presented with awards later today. It is clear that European funding has greatly assisted the development of many companies and organisations which work all along the border region. Continued European assistance is essential if we are to continue to build upon what has already been achieved.

"At both a national and European level I am working to ensure that we make the most of the opportunities presented by the next round of European funding from 2007-2013 The opportunities presented go far beyond the funding sphere, however. Elsewhere in Europe, communities have adopted innovative ways of working to overcome the disadvantages they face, have recognised the particular challenges that border regions face, and have taken practical steps to improve the social and economic life of those living on either side of the border

"We need to go much further in Ireland in tackling the way that the border impedes development and impacts detrimentally on the quality of life of those communities and businesses sited adjacent to it or affected by it. Those being presented with awards today are shining examples of how this can be done." ENDS

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