Funding boost for Larne community group to aid peace building

IFI board members (back) Paddy Harte, Siobhan Fitzpatrick, Allen McAdam, Billy Gamble. (Front) Dorothy Clarke, Dr Adrian Johnston, chairman of the Fund and Hilary Singleton.
IFI board members (back) Paddy Harte, Siobhan Fitzpatrick, Allen McAdam, Billy Gamble. (Front) Dorothy Clarke, Dr Adrian Johnston, chairman of the Fund and Hilary Singleton.

A Larne community group has been awarded £178,548 by the International Fund for Ireland to aid peace building and reduce criminal and sectarian activity.

The Factory Community Forum has received grant aid from the funding body for a “two-year conflict transformation”.

The sum will be used to “give women a stronger role in peace building and reduce the risk of young people being drawn into criminal or sectarian activities”.

It is part of a £3.3 million package announced today by the IFI for community projects in Northern Ireland.

Dr Adrian Johnston, chairman of the International Fund for Ireland, said: “We still live in a deeply fractured society and political uncertainties are adding greater pressures to communities that are working hard to move forward.

“The risks taken by groups we support cannot be taken for granted. In many difficult areas, the fund and these groups are delivering the only interventions that are preventing the escalation of tensions and polarisation. In challenging circumstances, their ambition and vision deserve to be equally met with political action and leadership.

“With the limited resources available, the Fund is making important contributions that support stability and progress, particularly among communities that had not previously recognised a peace dividend.

“However, the Fund alone is not equipped for the scale of challenges that may emerge during an indefinite political vacuum. Each generation should expect a better life than the last. That can only happen if there is political will and adequate resources to help resolve the legacy issues that continue to blight communities.”