Council Celebrates Closure of Peace IV Action Plan with Finale Video

21st December 2021

To officially mark the end of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s £2.8 million ‘PEACE IV Local Authority Action Plan’ a special ‘legacy video’ has been produced, capturing activities across the duration of the programme and documenting key achievements.

The Plan supported 16 programmes across three strategic objectives – Children and Young People; Shared Spaces and Services; and Building Positive Relations. Each programme supported peace building and cross community interaction through a range of approaches, which included, sports, arts, heritage, horticulture, language support and community development.

The Action Plan has been funded through the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Match-funding was provided by The Executive Office, Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development, Ireland.

First Minister Paul Givan said: “It’s been immensely impressive to learn about the work that has been taken forward by the Council’s PEACE IV Partnership, Council staff and wider delivery partners.  

 “Your combined focus has delivered an extensive programme of activities that is helping to develop understanding of, and respect for, different cultures and traditions here while building relationships between our communities.   

 “It’s great to see how many of our children and young people, from very different backgrounds, have had the opportunity to: be involved, get to know each other, and build relationships through the programme.”

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “I’ve been so impressed by the many excellent projects delivered through the Fermanagh and Omagh PEACE IV Action Plan and I’m pleased that our department has been able to support this transformative programme.

“This work to deliver projects for children and young people, develop shared spaces for the whole community and bring people together through so many different initiatives is absolutely central to building a tolerant, peaceful and more prosperous society.

“Well done to the council, its partners and all those who participated in the projects. I look forward to seeing the benefits of the programme in supporting peace and reconciliation in the months and years ahead.”

Minister of State for Rural and Community Development, Joe O’Brien TD, commented: “I am delighted to see that Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, having been awarded over €3 million under the European Union’s Peace IV programme, successfully delivered their Local Action Plan for the district, which included the delivery of 16 programmes across three core themes.  I want to congratulate the programme implementers and all the participants on the successful outcomes under this plan. Every interaction we have has the potential to teach us something and by cultivating positive relationships with others, we will be happier, more fulfilled and more connected.

“I am confident that Fermanagh and Omagh District Council will continue their excellent work under the new PEACE Plus Programme that will further establish ongoing Peace and Reconciliation for generations to come.”

Reflecting on the video, CEO of the Special EU Programmes Body, Gina McIntyre, said: “Unfortunately, many people within our communities still remain segregated and as a result divided, as a result of our shared past. Therefore I am delighted to see the many wonderful achievements and impact on local people, that this EU PEACE IV funded Action Plan has had. This video highlights perfectly, the changes that can occur when new, forward-thinking partnerships between different groups are created, which better promote cultural diversity and reconciliation. It is important not to underestimate the value of each and every activity within this programme, and the significant contribution to the development of a more inclusive and cohesive society each one makes.

“I would like to acknowledge and congratulate all of the PEACE Partnership members, Council staff, delivery partners and especially participants, who have been instrumental in this Action Plan’s success,” she continued.

Remarking on the significance of the Fermanagh and Omagh PEACE IV Local Action, Councillor Errol Thompson commented: “This video is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the significant positive impacts and key achievements as a result of PEACE IV funding. Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is committed to working with key stakeholders across all sectors to improve the quality of life of all the people of the district and by collaborating with partner organisations like the SEUPB, the PEACE IV Partnership, the Education Authority, as delivery partner; and with the assistance of the various Service Areas across the Council, specifically the PEACE IV Administration team, the roll out of the Local Action Plan has greatly promoted and stimulated social development in the district and has been a tremendous success.

“The legacy of the PEACE IV programme is perhaps most visible in the enhancement of the seven communities that have benefited from a larger scale capital project which included the development of MUGAs, development of outdoor recreational green areas and additional/enhanced spaces in a community setting specifically for young people. This programme strengthened youth interaction and presented young people with opportunities to gain an understanding and appreciation of other communities and cultures. We are extremely grateful to our funders for supporting such a successful programme.

The Fermanagh and Omagh PEACE IV Action Plan has engaged over 2,500 participants including almost 950 young people and over 70 communities in a wide range of peace-focused initiatives and has, I believe, been instrumental in creating a more cohesive and forward-thinking society.

The Council looks forward to the new PEACE PLUS Programme and continuing its encouragement of cross community engagement and building capacity for many different groups to engage in peace and reconciliation activities in the future.”

You can view the legacy video by clicking on this link,  or on social media platforms www.facebook.com/FermanaghandOmaghDistrictCouncil.

For more information on the EU PEACE IV Programme, please contact John McCandless, Communications Manager with the SEUPB via mob. 07841 367052 or email: john.mccandless@seupb.eu