Peace fund spending a 'shambles' - Adams


Northern Ireland's Equality Commission was today urged to investigate claims that £55 million sterling in EU funds for disadvantaged communities affected by violence was squandered.

In an attack on the allocation of peace and reconciliation funds by the Department of Social Development, Sinn Féin president Mr Gerry Adams claimed some nationalist communities had been "discriminated against" and its distribution was "a shambles".

Mr Adams welcomed funding for communities in the Clonard and Springfield Road areas, but he asked why no funding was made available to other deprived neighbourhoods in west Belfast such as Twinbrook, Andersonstown and parts of the Falls Road.

"I am greatly concerned as to how this fund has been managed and distributed by the Department of Social Development," the West Belfast MP told an event at Springvale Training Centre.

"The fund of £12 million was to target the most disadvantaged communities and to redress the legacy of the conflict.

"While some communities have benefited from the fund, Sinn F´ein believes the design of the fund discriminated against the nationalist community and the administration by the Department has been a shambles.

"The Department developed a very narrow definition of the conflict. It ignores the role of the state and fails to identify those areas which have suffered most from the conflict".