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Bairbre de Brún leads party delegation to meet Hanson on PEACE III and Structural Funds

27 November, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has this morning led a party delegation to meet with British Direct Rule Minister David Hanson to discuss both the PEACE III and Structural Funds programmes in the time ahead.

Ms de Brún was accompanied by party colleagues Cathy Stanton MLA and Seán Oliver, Sinn Féin All Ireland Co-ordinator.

Speaking after the meeting Ms de Brún said:

"This morning's meeting was at our request in order to discuss both the PEACE III and Structural Funds programmes.   We raised our concerns with Mr Hanson with regards to future PEACE funding and the proposed delivery mechanisms for such funding. Earlier this year the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) announced a consultation process on how they suggest allocation for the future ?267 million PEACE III funds.

"We stressed to the Minister the centrality of equality and the Section 75 equality duty. We also pointed to the distinctiveness of the PEACE programme and the need to ensure that it is additional and not merely co-opted to fund existing programmes. We told Mr Hanson that we would oppose any narrow approach to PEACE and Structural Funding that fails to recognise the importance of the equality, partnership, or all-Ireland

"Through the PEACE programme, and through its contribution to the International Fund for Ireland, EU support and involvement has brought considerable benefits to peace building and reconciliation for more than a decade. We need to build on these lessons the time ahead." ENDS

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