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International Fund for Ireland

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dick Roche, brought Sean Barrett (FG, Dun Laoghaire) up to date on developments in the International Fund for Ireland  (Dail Eireann, Debates, 20th January 2011, 254-5).  Originally, its board had decided that it would no longer be seeking funds after 2010 and that it would close by the end of 2013.  Following detailed analysis, the fund had subsequently decided that there was still much work to be done to pursue reconciliation and he agreed with this analysis.  His predecessor had raised the issue of continued American funding with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and congressional leaders.  The minister said he was aware that some in the congress, on the Republican side, wanted the fund wound up, but the effort would continue to be made to ensure the fund continued, for there were hard-to-reach communities in need of continuing support.  There would be a significant Irish presence there on 17th March.