Category: Archive

International Fund secures $13.5m

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The fund, which assists in the development of economic and social schemes, is designed to supplement the peace process.
Established in 1986 by the Irish and British governments at the time of the Anglo-Irish agreement, the fund has spent $750 million on projects in Northern Ireland and the six Southern border counties.
Chairman of the IFI, Denis Rooney, said the donation was welcome and praised the amount donated taking into consideration the current pressures on the U.S. treasury.
Rooney, who was in Washington on Tuesday, said, “the U.S. contribution to the fund is a very real demonstration of American support for the peace process, particularly in the context of the heavy pressures on the U.S. budget at this time.
“Through the work of the fund, the generosity and friendship of the American people would continue to build a legacy of lasting peace, reconciliation and mutual understanding between the different traditions throughout Ireland”.
The U.S. is one of the fund’s biggest contributors. The European Union, Canada, Australia and New Zealand also contribute significant amounts of money.
Supporters of the peace process will have welcomed the continuing input from the U.S.
The IFI had been subject to a scathing attack in 2003 when an influential think-tank slammed donations to it as a “waste-of-money.”
A report by Citizens Against Government Waste claimed money given to the IFI was being “wasted” on projects such as the work on the Jeanie Johnson replica Famine ship. The report had been launched by Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain.
The IFI denied that it had provided large amounts of funding for the project.
The Bush administration had sought to reduce the amount of money provided by the U.S. but encountered strong resistance in Congress. While this year’s contribution is down on previous years, it is still deemed to be a indication of the White House’s continuing support for the peace process.

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