Dáil Éireann - Volume 612 - 15 December, 2005

Written Answers - Departmental Programmes.

  198. Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Finance the directive he has issued to Sligo County Council for funding to a company (details supplied) through EU Peace II extension programme measure 3.3; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39922/05]

  Mr. Cowen: The aim of this unique EU programme is to promote reconciliation and help to build a more peaceful and stable society in Northern Ireland and the six southern Border counties: Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan and Louth. Because of the valuable role the Peace II programme is playing in this region, the Irish and British Governments successfully sought an extension to the programme until 2006. The primary purpose of the Peace II programme is to promote reconciliation. Therefore, both Administrations and the European Commission decided, following widespread consultation, that there would be a greater focus on reconciliation in the Peace II extension.

All applications under the programme are assessed on merit. As well as being marked on measure specific criteria, projects applying for funds from the Peace II extension must also demonstrate how they promote reconciliation. The Deputy will be aware that Sligo task force is one of the implementing bodies for this measure. The application by the company referred to will be assessed by the task force and scored along with other project applications by an independent panel of five people. Successful projects will then be brought before the task force for ratification.

The assessment panel expects to meet in early January with the ratification meeting of the task force following shortly thereafter.