Shared Island Fund creates new North-South initiatives, says Taoiseach

ireland
Shared Island Fund Creates New North-South Initiatives, Says Taoiseach
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A €500 million budget for the Government’s Shared Island Fund will deliver fresh investment in a series of North-South initiatives, the Taoiseach has pledged.

Micheal Martin set out the focus of the new unit after its five-year budget was confirmed in Budget 2021.

Mr Martin said the fund would support the delivery of key cross-Border infrastructure initiatives, such as the A5 and Ulster Canal projects.

The Taoiseach said it would also open the way for new all-island initiatives in areas such as research, health, education and the environment.

He said it would also focus on addressing the particular challenges faced by people living in the north west and other border communities, and achieve greater connectivity on the island and enhance the all-island economy.

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“This complements the Government’s existing all-island commitments, including to the North/South Bodies, to cross-border health services and the Reconciliation Fund, as well as the significant support for peace and progress on the island that will be delivered through the EU Peace Plus programme,” he said.

“Taken together, this is a commitment by the Government of more than one billion euro to invest for the future on an all-island basis to 2025.

“The Shared Island Fund is central to the Government’s commitment to harnessing the full potential of the Good Friday Agreement to deliver sustained progress for all communities and traditions on the island.”

NI Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon welcomed the funding commitment to the Shared Island Fund. Photo: Presseye/PA

Stormont’s Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon welcomed the announcement.

“I am delighted to see the Irish Government has committed to such significant investment for the delivery of all island infrastructure projects,” she said.

“For many years the potential of the North-South strand of the Good Friday Agreement has been largely neglected.

“Critical investment in our infrastructure on projects such as Narrow Water Bridge and the A5 as set out in New Decade, New Approach will transform our island economy not least in the face of Covid, Brexit, and the climate emergency.

“Today’s announcement of €500 million for the work of the Taoiseach’s new Shared Island Unit in the advancement of key infrastructure projects over the course of the next five years is an important step in our shared endeavour to improve the lives of our citizens right across the island.”

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