Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan Monaghan, Brendan Smith has welcomed a commitment by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to advance the Peace Plus Programme which will bring further investment to communities North and South.
Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “Minister McGrath confirmed to me in Dáil Éireann that the public consultation on the draft Peace Plus Programme is nearing a conclusion and it is intended to bring the draft programme for approval by both the Government and the Northern Ireland Executive and then submit it to the European Commission for final approval.
“I have consistently outlined in Dáil Éireann and through parliamentary committees the need to have a well-funded Peace Plus Programme to build upon the good work of the PEACE and INTERREG Programmes. Those programmes brought much needed investment in social and economic terms to many disadvantaged communities in the border region and in Northern Ireland.”
The Cavan Monaghan TD continued: “We need well-resourced and robust programmes to deal with social and economic deprivation in different communities. Such investment benefits society and provides educational and employment opportunities particularly for young people.”
Deputy Brendan Smith added: “Recent weeks demonstrated to us again the absolute need to build on the great progress achieved through the Good Friday Agreement. I have also asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs to continue to work closely with the Northern Ireland Executive and with the British Government to resolve outstanding issues arising from Brexit and to implement in full the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol. Disruptions to trade and business in any part of our island impacts negatively on all of the country.
“Communities and businesses will also have the opportunity to avail of funding through the recently announced Shared Island initiative. We need to continue to build the all-island economy which has the potential to bring further benefits and a much stronger economy both North and South,” concluded Deputy Brendan Smith.