Investing in peace in Northern Ireland

 

Sir, – Since the setting up of the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation, the following financial contributions were made to Northern Ireland. From 1995 to 2013, over €1.3 billion in financial contributions were made from structural funds and the European Regional Development Funds in the first three Peace programmes. The Peace IV (2014-2020) programme saw a further contribution from European Regional Development Fund to the tune of €270 million. This is on top of the UK’s €2.5 billion contribution in the last three years, and financial contributions from Ireland, with over €500 million in North-South investment commitment made by the Irish Government in 2020.

From 1991 to 2014, $570 million came from Chuck Feeney’s philanthropic Atlantic foundation to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged.

The vast swathes of investment and capital that were given in good faith to improve the lives of all the people living in Northern Ireland are not being reciprocated by the rhetoric from the mouths of political leaders who are opposed to the EU and the Irish Government’s interference, as they see it, in their affairs.

Have these political leaders and their supporters shown any gratitude for the financial investment and contributions made over many years by the EU and Irish taxpayers?

Why then should we bother propping up an ungrateful and divided sectarian assembly and its institutions where neither side, republican or loyalist, has the will or determination to move to a more inclusive and fairer society? – Yours, etc,

CHRISTY GALLIGAN,

Letterkenny, Co Donegal.