€50m HAS been announced by the Taoiseach for the Shared Island Fund to enable new all-island partnership projects across a range of areas including biodiversity and peatlands, tourism, language and culture, civil society, research and innovation.
The Shared Island initiative is a whole of Government priority to engage with all communities and political traditions to build consensus around a shared future on the island, underpinned by the Good Friday Agreement.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin outlined the funding allocations as part of a speech at the 2nd Shared Island Forum at Dublin Castle this morning.
€11m has been assigned to all-island biodiversity actions on peatlands restoration and biosecurity, €12m for the development of a cross-border innovation hub and €8m for a Shared Island dimension to the Creative Ireland programme and cultural heritage projects over 2023-2027.
A further €10m funding contribution to a second round of the North-South Research Programme, €7.6m for a new all-island tourism brand collaboration and marketing initiatives, and other €2m funding contribution to a new Shared Island Civic Society fund.
The Taoiseach also confirmed a contribution of €20m from the Shared Island und for Co-Centres for Research and Innovation on Climate and Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems.
The new projects will be delivered through North/south and East-West partnerships by Ministers and their departments working with Northern Ireland and UK government partners.
The announcement today brings to over €190m the amount allocated from the shared Island Fund over the past two years.
In his address to the second Shared Island Forum, the Taoiseach said:
"With whole of Government support, I established the Shared Island initiative over two years ago, to block the potential of the Good Friday Agreement ad deepen cooperation and connections across borders and communities.
"Our actions today North and South, will shape what follows; what kind of future is possible. As a Government, we are taking sincere, ambitious, sustained action to enable the best prospects for our shared future on this island - however it may be constituted."
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney TD said he particularly welcomes "the allocation of €2m from the Shared Island Fund to support a new Shared Island Civic Society Fund in the Department of Foreign Affairs."
"This funding scheme will complement the vital work that is already supported though my Department's Reconciliation Fund to promote North-South cooperation and enhance cross-border civic economic, cultural, and political links across the island."
The Shared Island initiative is backed by the Government’s Shared Island Fund, with at least €1 billion out to 2030 ring-fenced for delivery of all-island investment commitments and objectives in the Programme for Government and revised National Development Plan 2021-30.
The programme has been curated through engagement with people across the island through the Shared Island Dialogue series and a comprehensive policy research programme.