Donegal ETB has appointed a new Community Leadership Project Coordinator, Paul Friel, under its EU PEACE IV funded community leadership project which will run until June 2020. The project is taking place in partnership with Inishowen Development Partnership (IDP) and Donegal Local Development CLG (DLDC).
The project is supported by the European Union’s Peace IV Programme, managed for the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) by Donegal County Council.
Prior to taking up his post, Donegal native Paul worked as the coordinator of a local training initiative with the Football Association of Ireland and Louth/Meath ETB. As such, Paul has an excellent appreciation for the needs of learners from areas of socioeconomic disadvantage and using leadership through sport and education as the vehicle to break down barriers and address community issues. Paul has also lectured in Physical Education in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.
The Community Leadership programme seeks to build the capacity of community leaders and potential community leaders from ten community hubs in areas that have suffered from the legacy of the Troubles, have high unemployment, early school leaving, where there is a risk of dissident activity as well as a high level of social deprivation. It will foster an understanding of peace and reconciliation, engender an awareness of issues that lead to discrimination, stereotyping and sectarianism, facilitate the development of a network of partners from community, voluntary and statutory organisations and agencies with a strong cross-community element and a focus on peace and reconciliation activities and it seeks to mitigate any potential radicalisation by building skills, knowledge, competence and positive attitudes to support economic and social development.
Speaking about his new appointment, Paul said, “I’m really look forward to facilitating this project for Donegal ETB, Inishowen Development Partnership and Donegal Local Development CLG, as well as with community groups across the county. This project through its unique partnership approach offers a vehicle for community leaders from all walks of life to reach out and engage with one another in a way that promotes cross community collaboration, understanding and information sharing.”
The project is funded under priority 1 of the Peace IV programme, promoting peace and reconciliation. The Community Leadership project is funded under action 4.1 of the local authority peace plan which focuses on the promotion of positive relations at a local and regional level, characterised by respect and where cultural diversity is celebrated and people can live, learn and socialise together, free from prejudice, hate and intolerance.
Match-funding has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.
Speaking about Paul’s appointment, Donegal ETB’s Adult Education Officer Martina Needham said, “I’m delighted Paul is leading out on this project for us and our partners. Supporting communities across Co Donegal is something all three organisations are passionate about and we’re delighted to be able to further support and enhance this work with EU PEACE IV funding.”
Donegal ETB has a proven track record in delivering Peace funded projects, having done so under Peace II and Peace III. Apart from Donegal County Council as the lead partner, Donegal ETB is the only partner organisation that is delivering programme activity as part of the Donegal Peace IV Local Action Plan.
Paul took up his appointment on 28 January 2019 and is based in Donegal ETB’s Adult Guidance and Information office in Letterkenny. He can be contacted at 074 9178088.
Further updates on this and Donegal ETB’s other EU Peace IV funded projects can be found on its website (www.donegaletb.ie) or social media accounts – Facebook/Twitter (@DonegalETB), YouTube (Donegal ETB) and LinkedIn (linkedin.com/company/donegaletb) accounts, through #PeaceIV.