Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin TD, today announced an open call for applications for a new funding scheme aimed at enhancing civic society engagement across the island of Ireland.
The Shared Island Civic Society Fund will promote practical North South cooperation and engagement, across a range of sectors and themes, consistent with the objectives and commitments of the Good Friday Agreement. It will encourage and support civic society and community organisations to further strengthen existing partnerships and/or to develop new cross-border links, to build connectivity on issues of concern for the island of Ireland.
The scheme, which has been developed as part of the Government’s Shared Island initiative and supported through the Shared Island Fund, will provide €500,000 to cross-border projects in the first year of operation. It is expected that increased funding will be made available in future years.
The Fund will support regional, national and sectoral cross-border civic engagement in areas including Climate and Environment; Community development; Heritage and conservation; Social Enterprise; Charity and Voluntary Sector, and Sport.
Announcing the launch of the Fund in Armagh, the Tánaiste said:
“I am pleased to launch this initiative, which will complement the vital work that is already supported through my Department’s Reconciliation Fund and other funding schemes, to promote North South cooperation and enhance cross-border civic, economic, cultural, and political links across the island.
“Civic society often provides a unique dynamic for building understanding and consensus in areas where politics alone cannot. There is already deep and constructive cooperation within civic society and it is encouraging to see so many organisations already collaborating on an all-island basis, combining ideas and capacity to deliver benefits far beyond what can be achieved separately.
“However, for civic society to flourish, it requires support. This Fund will reinforce the important civic engagement already taking place and support new and innovative cross-border civic initiatives, with North/South or East/West dimensions.
“We are enabling civic society to develop new links, forums, and projects that will help to build a truly shared island.
“I strongly encourage civic organisations North and South to apply.”
Applications for funding under the Shared Island Civic Society Fund will be accepted from Monday, 16 January 2023 until Monday, 27 February 2023. Further information, including eligibility and application process details, is available at https://www.dfa.ie/about-us/funding/sharedislandcivicsocietyfund/.