Written Answers. - Departmental Funding.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

63 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been drawn to reports that the Irish Peace Park in Messines in Belgium needs additional funds for improvements; if he will provide funds having regard to the important symbolism of the park and the joint North-South nature of the park; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25516/99]

We had become aware of adverse reports regarding the state of the Irish Peace Park in Messines and, as a result, the embassy in Brussels was instructed to visit Messines and report on the situation.

On 4 November, an official from the embassy visited Messines and reported that the park, at the time, as well maintained and "looked very well". We have, at the same time, asked the embassy to monitor the situation and to report to the Department from time to time on the state of the park, including on the arrangements for its ongoing maintenance.

In 1999, the Department, through its reconciliation fund, provided £30,000 to the Messines project.