31/08/2001

MEP questions why EU funds went to republican group

An Ulster Unionist MEP has called for an official EU investigation into how thousands of pounds from the EU’s peace and reconciliation fund were allocated to a group for former republican prisoners.

Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson claimed that the funds had found their way into the hands of suspect IRA activist James Monaghan’s Tir Isteach group set up to assist former republican prisoners.

Speaking in Brussels on Friday, Mr Nicholson said: “EU taxpayers, through this fund, have given great support to Northern Ireland, but there is no way that their money should be given to those still engaged in unlawful activities.”

The European Parliament’s spending watchdog has already been made aware of the situation. I am certain that people across Europe would balk at the idea that their money could be being used by active terrorists. They deserve an official investigation.”

Mr Monaghan is one of three men detained in Colombia facing terrorist charges. (SP)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

17 January 2020
Eight Sentenced Over Christopher Meli Death
Eight young people have been sentenced for offences connected to the death of Christopher Meli in 2015. Six defendants avoided jail while two were handed custodial sentences at Laganside Crown Court on Thursday 16 January. The west Belfast man died in December 2015, aged 20, after he was beaten in the Twinbrook area.
14 January 2020
Man Jailed For Drugs Offences
A 36 year-old man from west Belfast will spend over a year behind bars for a number of drug related offences. John Paul McGuinness was handed a custodial sentence at Belfast Crown Court on Monday 13 January following the seizure of cocaine worth approximately £20,000. He will serve 32 months, half of which is to be spent on licence.
21 January 2020
Seven Arrests In £215m Laundering Probe
Around £215 million has been seized in the largest ever money laundering search and arrest operation in Northern Ireland. Seven people were arrested during Operation Shambala, which stretched across three counties on Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 January.
20 December 2019
Imprisoned Dads Give Special Gift To Children
Imprisoned dads at Hydebank Wood College have put together special packages to be delivered to their children in time for Christmas. Hydebank Wood in Belfast is a young offender's institution with inmates between the age of 18 and 21.
22 January 2020
Cancer Victim Honoured By 'Donuts For Donors' Campaign
The family of a Belfast woman who lost her life to cancer last year have launched an awareness and fundraising campaign in her memory. The Eimear's Wish initiative 'Donuts for Donors' was established to raise money and awareness of stem cell donation following 25 year-old Eimear Gooderham's death in June 2019.