CEO Peter Sheridan addresses Commons and Lords committees on the NI Protocol
Co-operation Ireland CEO Peter Sheridan has told the NI Affairs Committee in Westminster that the economic realities in working class areas of Northern Ireland were impacting peace building efforts.
But Peter also outlined the steps Co-operation Ireland were taking to improve the prospects of young people through the charity’s Future Leaders Programme.
MPs and Lords heard from a range of representatives on the affect of the NI Protocol on the wider unionist community and what it means for the future of peace building.
The full video can be watched here:
Peter said focus should now be placed on developing the local economy to provide jobs.
“The best we can do for those areas are jobs and employment. One of the downsides after the Good Friday Agreement was, when we needed about 6,000 jobs into north and west Belfast and into places like Derry, the economic collapse happened around the world and instead of young people getting those jobs and the peace dividend and opportunities, what happened is their mothers and fathers started to lose their jobs.
“They never got that bounce in those very challenged, difficult communities, so I think we can’t take our eye off that ball. We have to continue to work in those communities.”
Later, Peter told the House of Lords Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland Sub-Committee of the role Co-operation Ireland has played in facilitating dialogue around the Brexit issue, referencing his chairing of a meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and civic figures from across Ireland.