Extra 1m euros a year for Reconciliation Fund to make GFA anniversary

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image captionSimon Coveney said the money showed the government's commitment to the Good Friday Agreement

The Irish government is allocating an extra 1m euros (£877,000) a year to support peace and reconciliation projects on the island of Ireland.

It will bring the state's annual contribution to the Reconciliation Fund to 3.7 m euros (£3.2m).

The announcement was made to mark the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, signed on 10 April 1998.

The Reconciliation Fund was established in 1982 but its funding increased significantly after the 1998 deal.

The latest increase was announced by Tánaiste (Irish Deputy Prime Minister) Simon Coveney at an event to mark the 20th anniversary.

"This is a tangible expression of our commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and to the message of reconciliation which is at its heart.

"Today is about the people of the island of Ireland, North and South, who 20 years ago voted resoundingly in favour of peace and reconciliation.

"It is particularly fitting then that today we are able to announce this further support for the essential reconciliation work being carried out by civil society and individuals in Northern Ireland and indeed across this island."

The Reconciliation Fund also has an Anglo-Irish element as well as a cross-border mission.

It administers grants to organisations "working to build better relations within and between the traditions in Northern Ireland, the north and south, and Ireland and Britain".