Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has reacted angrily to the announcement that £18million of EU Funding under the SEUPB programme has been withdrawn on the back of the DUP reneging on a Programme for Government (PfG) commitment to construct a Peace and Reconciliation Centre on the site of the former Long Kesh Prison Camp.
Martina Anderson commented:
“While I exert every ounce of effort possible to lobby my colleague MEPs to support funding of projects here to assist the evolution from conflict to reconciliation it is galling that unionist politicians can frivolously snub substantial EU funding in order to assuage the lowest common denominator within anti-peace process unionism.
“No amount of spin or hijacking of victims feelings will camoflage the fact that Peter Robinson caved in to unionist reactionaries such as Jim Allister, the PUP and UVF elements who specialise in whipping up and playing on misinformed fears in the unionist community.
“This is not just a matter of snubbing £18million of hard won EU funding it is squandering an opportunity for what could have been the catalyst for other investment that would have created up to 5000 jobs.
“I welcome the committment and determination by joint First Minister Martin McGuinness to retreive this project and have the funding reinstated. That is the type of determination and leadership that unionism also needs. I will do all I can to assist this process in Europe despite the fact that I will have to do so without any assistance from the other two northern MEPs, Dianne Dodds (DUP) and Jim Nicholson (UUP).