Foundation visits the Republic of Ireland Department of Foreign Affairs

December 5, 2013 | Nick Taylor

This week, co-Founder Wendy Parry and Chief Executive Nick Taylor visited Dublin to meet Secretary General David Cooney at Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

David is a senior Irish diplomat who manages the Department under the political direction of the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs. David is no stranger to the Peace Centre, having accompanied Irish President Mary McAleese when she paid a state visit to England and when he was the Irish Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

He also assisted in the talks leading to the Belfast Agreement, being named by George Mitchell as one of the two “unsung heroes of the peace process”. He has also served as Ambassador to the United Nations.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade funds non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community groups, and voluntary organisations to support reconciliation and to create better understanding between people and traditions on the island of Ireland and between Ireland and Britain.

The Reconciliation Fund has been running since 1982, and was increased significantly in 1998, following the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. The fund has supported the delivery of the Foundation’s Survivors for Peace programme that responds to violent conflict and in undertaking leadership activities with young people from Northern Ireland and England.

Nick Taylor said: “David and the department are key supporters of the Foundation and it was important in our twentieth anniversary year that we visited Dublin to update him on progress and discuss the latest challenges we face.

“The people of Dublin responded after the bombings, and on 25 March 1993, thousands held a “peace rally” in the city signing a condolence book outside the General Post Office and laid bouquets and wreaths, with messages, to be taken to Warrington for Tim and Johnathan’s funerals.

The Foundation is continuing discussions with the department to agree further support for its future work.