Council launches Peace III action plan

Donegal County Council has launched its action plan for the spending of €4.5 million of European funding.

Donegal County Council has launched its action plan for the spending of €4.5 million of European funding.

The council’s Donegal PEACE III Action Plan 2011 – 2013 was launched on Thursday at the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny.

Donegal County Council is Lead Partner of the Donegal Community Development Board Peace & Reconciliation Partnership and has been awarded a total of €4,533,250 by the Special European Union Programmes Body under the PEACE III Programme for the implementation of Phase II of the Donegal PEACE III Action Plan 2011 – 2013, which was formulated following a widespread public consultation process in 2010.

The council says the plan is focused on building better relations at a local level by challenging attitudes towards racism and sectarianism, promoting greater community integration within Donegal and on a cross border basis, promoting active participation in civil life by those who were most affected by the conflict, and supporting conflict resolution and mediation initiatives addressing the legacy of the conflict.

Speaking at the launch Mayor, Noel Mc Bride said: “We in Donegal are keen that the high standard of work towards Peace and Reconciliation continues to be built upon in the county and that we are moving towards a shared future where diversity is embraced and celebrated and interculturalism is supported.

“I wish to acknowledge the funders of the Donegal PEACE III Action Plan, the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. Their considerable monetary support, in excess of €4.5 million means that the delivery of the plan continues to make a real difference to individuals and groups in Donegal.”

Councillor Dessie Larkin, Chair of Donegal CDB Peace and Reconciliation Partnership officially launched the Donegal PEACE III Action Plan 2011 - 2013. Councillor Larkin spoke about the range of projects he has seen in his capacity of Chair of the Partnership. He paid tribute a number of people in his addressing saying: “I would like to thank and acknowledge the work of a number of groups involved in the delivery of the Donegal PEACE III Action Plan 2011 - 2013, firstly my colleagues on Donegal CDB Peace and Reconciliation Partnership, who are responsible for the management of the plan, the PEACE III Secretariat Staff at Donegal County Council who assist us in this role and to the range of different delivery agents who are responsible for rolling out the various actions in the plan, without you the plan could not come to fruition.”

Dr Chis Sparks, a social and political theorist from Sligo IT, delivered an entertaining and informative keynote address exploring diversity in Ireland today. His talk included a discussion around interculturalism and what this means.

Mr Howard Keery, Director of Joint Technical Secretariat at SEUPB spoke on behalf of the funders.

Anne Marie Conlon, Donegal CDB Peace and Reconciliation Partnership detailed the Partnership’s plan, including their shared vision of working to “Donegal a county where racism and sectarianism no longer exist and where all feel equally valued and confident that they belong.” She outlined the strategic aims/priorities of the plan and spoke about the groups who are delivering the 24 strategic aims within the plan. Sarah Thompson of Donegal County Council introduced Donegal CDB Peace and Reconciliation Partnership’s web presence on the Donegal CDB website - www.donegalcdb.ie . “I would encourage all those involved in the delivery of the Donegal PEACE III Action Plan 2011 - 2013 to utilise the website to highlight their projects through the submission of films, photographs, audio, articles of events and news and calendar dates. Anyone wishing to follow the work of the Partnership should log on regularly to the website as news about projects will constantly be added. The site also links to the Council’s twitter and facebook pages.”