Ireland’s Shared Island programmes get a €50m boost

5 Dec 2022

Micheál Martin, TD, in 2020. Image: Maxwell Photography (CC by 2.0)

The latest funding will support a range of all-island projects including biodiversity actions and research collaborations.

The Irish Government has announced more than €50m in fresh funding to support cross-border projects under the Shared Island initiative.

The Shared Island Fund was established in Budget 2021 to bolster communication, cooperation and investment between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and meet strategic mutual priorities in areas such as education, infrastructure, health and climate action.

The latest funding raises the total allocated from the Shared Island initiative to more than €190m since 2020.

Details of the funding allocation were revealed at Dublin Castle today (5 December) by Taoiseach Micheál Martin, TD, who said the actions across the island of Ireland will shape “what kind of future is possible”.

“I established the Shared Island initiative over two years ago to unlock the potential of the Good Friday Agreement and deepen cooperation and connections across borders and communities,” Martin said.

“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.”

The latest funding will see €11m go towards all-island biodiversity actions on peatlands restoration and biosecurity, while €7.6m will be used for tourism brand collaboration and marketing initiatives.

The Creative Ireland programme and cultural heritage projects will get an extra €8m between 2023 and 2027, and €2m will go towards a Shared Island Civic Society fund.

Development of a cross-border innovation hub has been allocated €12m, while a further €10m will go to the second round of the North-South Research Programme. This research programme launched in July 2021 with an allocation of €40m to deepen the links between research institutions across the island.

“We will do more in the years to come – with priorities set by Government on enterprise, education, active travel and transport – to create a more connected, sustainable and prosperous island for all communities on the island of Ireland,” Martin said.

Earlier this year, it was announced that virtual research centres would be established to boost collaboration between Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK. The Taoiseach confirmed today that €20m from the Shared Island Fund will go towards the co-centres for research and innovation on climate and sustainable and resilient food systems.

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Micheál Martin, TD, in 2020. Image: Maxwell Photography via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic