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Bairbre de Brún to meet with community activists to discuss peace building and economic regeneration in N. Belfast

24 May, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún will this afternoon meet with a number of community activists from across the north of the city to discuss the issues of peace building and economic regeneration in the area.


Ms de Brún will visit the Ashton Centre where she will meet CEO Paul Roberts and Jim Deery to discuss the roles played by the centre in facilitating peace and reconciliation and supporting economic regeneration across North Belfast.


Speaking today Ms de Brún said:


"I want to pay tribute to the work of the Ashton Centre and their enormous contribution to employment in the area and the provision of essential training and education services to the local community in the New Lodge. This local success story, the Ashton Community Trust employs upward of 100 people locally and makes a contribution to the local economy of almost £1.7million.


"Organisations such as these are shining examples of social and economic community led success stories who deserve and require continued funding and support. Moreover, their commitment to the important work of peace building must also be acknowledged.


"The Ashton Centre has also facilitated a meeting this afternoon with a range of local community activists in which we can discuss their ongoing work and their hopes for the future.  In terms of a PEACE III, the EU has pledged €200 million in funding for the next seven years until 2013. I hope to receive some feedback on the roll-out of this programme.


"The EU's commitment to a PEACE III programme is extremely important. It is recognition that the peace process still needs bedding down and is recognition of the vital work being carried out by community groups across the six counties and the border regions. The Ashton Centre is one such project which carries out invaluable work." ENDS

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