Brexit impact warning as funding confirmed

Paddy Harte, IFI chairman. (Photo Lorcan Doherty)
Paddy Harte, IFI chairman. (Photo Lorcan Doherty)

A Derry-based project has been allocated over £100,000 towards a musical peace initiative amid warnings that Brexit and the absence of an Executive is harming community relations here.

The International Fund for Ireland (IFI) yesterday confirmed funding of the £105,741 for the cross-community, cross-border Springboard Fusion Project.

It is one of nine community based initiatives across Northern Ireland and the southern border counties successful in the latest round of IFI funding allocations.

Springboard Fusion Project works with marginalised young people in the Derry City, South Derry, and East Donegal areas. It provides band members, across traditions, opportunities to meet, share and develop together.

The announcement came with a warning, however, over the impact of the absence of a functioning Executive for over two years in Northern Ireland, coupled with the uncertainty around Brexit.

Paddy Harte, the new Chair of the International Fund for Ireland said: “The biggest challenge we are currently facing is uncertainty and the fear of the unknown. Tensions are increasing across Northern Ireland and the southern border counties and some communities are certainly feeling more polarised than ever without those political structures in place.

“Despite the enormous progress that has been made in recent years, the current political impasse and uncertainty surrounding Brexit, along with growing tensions within some communities are all playing directly into the hands of those intent on inciting violence and radicalising young people through paramilitary recruitment.”

Meanwhile, Angila Chada, Director at Springboard Opportunities Limited, said: “The IFI’s support is invaluable to building peace within areas and amongst individuals who have not previously been involved or perhaps only partially involved in community development or peacebuilding.”