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The Atlantic Philanthropies: Northern Ireland

Resource type: Research Report

The Atlantic Philanthropies |

Jean Brown (left) and Renee Crawford, longtime leaders of Suffolk Lenadoon Interface Group, have worked together for over 20 years to forge a better life for their community. Photo: Richard Wade

This book tells the story of how The Atlantic Philanthropies’ investment of $570 million from 1991 through 2016 in Northern Ireland helped:

  • promote the peace process
  • reshape higher education
  • support cross-community primary and secondary schools
  • improve public services to tackle disadvantage
  • develop social policy based on evidence of need, and demonstrable effectiveness
  • strengthen independent organizations and leaders promoting and protecting rights and holding government to account.
University of Ulster in Belfast’s Cathedral quarter of the city centre. Photo: Donovan Wylie / Magnum Foundation

Writing in the foreword, author and journalist Susan McKay says that in addition to outlining the foundation’s work in Northern Ireland, the book “captures some of the reality of what Atlantic’s funding has brought about. The head of an integrated school in a tough sectarian town talking about the joy in the faces of the children of all religious backgrounds walking and talking together. The daughter of a man with dementia talking about the relief it was to have her father cared for at home as a result of a Dementia Friendly Communities initiative. The professor telling how bowled over people are by the ‘far out virtual worlds’ he and his colleagues at the Sonic Arts Research Centre are exploring.”

“An amazing story about one man who used his money, his brain and his heart to make the world a fairer and more decent place.”
— Martin O’Brien, former Country Director, The Atlantic Philanthropies

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This volume is one in a forthcoming series of six country books that will feature Atlantic’s work in Australia, Cuba, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa and Viet Nam.