Members of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement visited North Belfast as part of their efforts to engage with groups on the ground. They visited Ashton's Bridge of Hope department alongside other groups in Rathlin and Cushendall.

Members of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement visited North Belfast as part of their efforts to engage with groups on the ground. The Committee members visited Ashton’s Bridge of Hope department alongside other groups in Rathlin and Cushendall across their two day visit North.

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Ashton Community Trust is delighted to welcome members of the Irish Senate to North Belfast today to discuss issues connected to the Good Friday Agreement and Brexit.

Paul Roberts, Chief Executive of Ashton Community Trust said the visit on Wednesday (13 September  2017) from the cross section of Irish politics was very timely and would see the delegation of TDs, Senators and MPs meeting community representatives from Belfast discuss the Agreement and the implications of Brexit on the North.

“We are very pleased to welcome members of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement to North Belfast,” Paul Roberts said.

“The implications of Brexit are going to be far reaching for many of us in the community voluntary sector but very directly for those who have been in receipt of EU funding and for deprived communities where EU funding has been one of the most visible peace dividends. Brexit has created fear and uncertainty in communities already concerned about the impacts of rising inflation, welfare reform and universal credit.”

The Committee will visit Ashton’s Bridge of Hope department in Duncairn Gardens which supports the health and wellbeing needs of those affected by the legacy of the conflict through a range of holistic services.

Bridge of Hope has received funds from several European Peace Programmes and is currently in receipt of PEACE IV funding allocated through the Victims & Survivors Service.

Irene Sherry, Head of Victims and Mental Health Services at Ashton said:

“This is a great opportunity for us to share learning, best practice and experiences about how we support the health & wellbeing needs of victims and survivors.”

Notes

About the Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement: This Committee plays a pivotal role in informing debate on key areas of mutual interest regarding North/South co-operation. The Committee works across a number of key areas, which include:

  • Reconciliation Issues – such as listening to key people and groups regarding legacy issues and reaching out to diverse communities
  • Commemoration Issues – including consideration of significant anniversaries arising over the next decade
  • North-South Co-Operation across Sectoral Areas – e.g. Health, Transport, Education, Agriculture, Tourism & Culture etc., with particular reference to the potential impact of the result of the British referendum to leave the EU
  • Funding Programmes, with a particular reference to future funding of peace related programmes

About Bridge of Hope: Bridge of Hope is a department of the award winning regeneration charity Ashton Community Trust. It is a community health and wellbeing service that supports individuals affected by the conflict with poor physical or emotional health. See more on www.ashtoncentre.com and www.thebridgeofhope.org