Kildare South Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon has welcomed progress on a proposed Peace and Leadership Forum on the Curragh. Minister with responsibility for Defence Paul Keogh confirmed in a parliamentary question response that it has been decided to progress to conduct a feasibility study on the proposal.
“In response to my parliamentary question, Minister Paul Keogh confirmed that both the White Paper on Defence and the Programme for Partnership Government included a commitment to evaluate the potential development of a new Institute for Peace Support and Leadership Training at the Defence Forces Training Centre in The Curragh.
“Speaking on RTE’s The Week in Politics last Sunday I highlighted the importance of the project. Given the great reputation of our defence forces in peacekeeping duties I welcome the Ministers comment that it is foreseen that the new Institute will have international standing and contribute to the overall development of knowledge and experience in the areas of peace support, leadership and conflict resolution.
“He advised that scoping work was carried out on the proposal throughout 2016. A concept paper has been developed and some initial consultation with national and international third level and research institutes and potential philanthropic contributors has also taken place.
“Arising from the initial scoping work and consultations, it has been decided to progress to conduct a feasibility study. Terms of reference for this feasibility study are being finalised and I expect that the study will commence as soon as possible thereafter.
“This is a welcome development for a project that can add to Kildare’s reputation and tourist potential and will be a major boost for the local Kildare and Newbridge economies. I look forward to seeing it being developed further.