Ministers Donohoe & McGrath meet Conor Murphy MLA Minister for Finance, Northern Ireland  

31st July, 2020

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath T.D. & Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe T.D met this afternoon with Conor Murphy MLA Minister for Finance, Northern Ireland. The meeting took place after this morning’s North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) Plenary meeting, which the three Ministers attended. The NSMC Plenary was the first such meeting since November 2016.

Minister McGrath and Minister Murphy took the opportunity to review progress on the development of the new cross-border programme, PEACE PLUS, which will continue and build upon the work of the current PEACE and INTERREG programmes. Development of the programme is being led by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), with close involvement from Government Departments North and South.

Speaking after the meeting, Minister McGrath said “ The support for the PEACE PLUS programme expressed by the EU, the Northern Ireland Executive, and the Irish and UK Governments reflects the unique challenges of Northern Ireland, and of the border counties. Minister Murphy and I discussed the excellent progress on the development of a substantial and ambitious new programme. Cross border cooperation is more important than ever as we all face the economic and social challenges of COVID – 19 and Brexit, in addition to the ongoing need to support peace and reconciliation”.

The Ministers also discussed the New Decade, New Approach agreement, which was the basis for the political parties in Northern Ireland to resume operating the power-sharing Executive and Assembly, and the City Deals economic development programme in Northern Ireland.

Both ministers outlined the work of the Irish Government in supporting its economy with a focus on the July Job Stimulus announced last week.

Speaking after the meeting, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said “COVID-19 has presented serious economic challenges for Governments North and South. I welcome the ongoing work of both Governments to support their citizens and businesses through the economic crisis as a result of COVID19.”



Notes for Editors

The PEACE IV Programme is a unique initiative of the European Union which has been designed to support peace and reconciliation.
It has four core objectives: 
– Shared Education initiatives
– Support for marginalised Children and Young People
– The provision of new Shared Spaces and Services
– Projects that will Build Positive Relations with people from different communities and backgrounds.

The INTERREG VA Programme is one of 60 similar funding programmes across the European Union that have been designed to help overcome the issues that arise from the existence of a border. 
It has four core objectives: 
– Research & Innovation for cross-border enterprise development
-Environmental initiatives
-Sustainable Transport projects
-Health & Social Care services on a cross-border basis. 
PEACE PLUS is a new EU cross-border programme that will contribute to a more prosperous and stable society in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland.  It will build upon previous PEACE and INTERREG Programmes. 
The programmes are managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), one of the six cross-border bodies set up under the Good Friday Agreement.