The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, visited the site of the new Peace Campus in Monaghan Town to mark the upcoming 25th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
Funding for the Peace Campus project has been provided under the European Union’s PEACE IV Shared Spaces Programme with match funding provided by the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Communities in Northern Ireland.
The PEACE IV Programme is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), one of six cross-border bodies set up under the Good Friday Agreement.
Speaking at the PEACE Campus site in Monaghan Town, Minister Humphreys said, “as we approach the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday agreement, it is an opportunity to reflect on the major developments and achievements over the past 25 years, in terms of promoting the values of reconciliation, respect, solidarity, equality, cultural diversity and social inclusion.The Peace Campus and other major projects like it across the border region simply would not have happened without the Good Friday Agreement. This is a landmark €18 million community project right in the heart of Monaghan town and is a flagship example of the ongoing efforts all of us must make to continue to build peace and reconciliation on our island. The project has been developed following active cross community engagement.”
Construction work on the Peace Campus commenced in the early autumn of 2020 and is expected to be completed later this year.
This project will create a new shared space specifically designed to create social interaction and encourage cross community and cross border activities. This will include culture and heritage activities and capacity building for young people among others.
Core activities set to be explored in the new space will include:
- The impacts and experiences of partition and the conflict.
- Immigration past and present and how that continues to shape society and sense of community today, including challenges for BME Communities.
- Culture and tradition with a focus on exploring and presenting Protestant culture to a wider audience.
- History, including decade of commemorations.
- Music as an expression of heritage and a means to engage and build connections between young people of different backgrounds.
- Dialogue to uncover commonalities and dispel prejudice and misunderstanding.
- Capacity building for young people.
Minister Humphreys concluded, “I am very pleased that my Department of Rural and Community Development shares responsibility for the PEACE IV Programme and has been able to provide essential co-funding and support for over eighty projects, North and South of the border, including the Monaghan Peace Campus.The progress that has been made over the years in the delivery of the various PEACE Programmes has been amazing and the difference the Programme has made to communities across the Border region simply cannot be overstated.We will continue to work with our Northern Ireland counterparts and the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) on the new PEACE Plus programme which will be mobilised in the coming weeks. I look forward to the launch of the first calls for applications under this new programme and seeing the continuation of this essential work under PEACE Plus.”