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                       Office of the Press Secretary 
                              (Pittsburgh, PA) 
For Immediate Release                               September 24, 1997 


U.S. Economic Support for Northern Ireland Peace Process

President Clinton named today James M. Lyons to be the U.S. Special Advisor to the President and to the Secretary of State for Economic Initiatives for Ireland. The President also signed September 22 a Presidential Determination which releases the $19.6 million U.S. FY 1997 contribution to the International Fund for Ireland (IFI).

Mr. Lyons, of Denver, Colorado, was named by the President in 1993 to be the United States Observer to the International Fund for Ireland. He has been working in this capacity actively to further the fund's objectives for the promotion of economic redevelopment and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the border counties of the Republic of Ireland.

A senior trial partner with the Colorado law firm of Rothberger, Appel, Powers and Johnson, Mr. Lyons joined the firm in 1971, concentrating his practice in complex business matters and litigation. His practice also involves international trade.

Listed in the Best Lawyers in America, he is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. Mr. Lyons has been honored for his public service in Colorado by the Governor and the Colorado Supreme Court. Since 1995, he has served as a trustee of the University of Northern Colorado. He received a B.A. from the College of Holy Cross and his law degree from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago.

In his new capacity, Mr. Lyons will coordinate the efforts of U.S. government agencies to further the President's and the Secretary of State's economic initiatives to support the peace process in Northern Ireland. Mr. Lyons succeeds former Senator George Mitchell, who will continue in his role as chairman of the multiparty talks in Belfast. Notable elements of the White House economic initiative for Ireland include hosting in Washington (1995) and Pittsburgh (1996) conferences to promote trade and investment in Northern Ireland and the Border Counties.

This year's U.S. IFI contribution represents tangible support for the work of community organizations in Northern Ireland and the border counties in Ireland which promote economic and social advancement. It is intended to encourage contact, dialogue, and reconciliation between nationalists and unionists. In addition, fund resources are distributed in support of the U.S. priorities of job creation and leveraging additional investment in the economy, helping the people of Northern Ireland make progress towards prosperity as they search for a lasting peace. The Fund requires that recipient community organizations in Northern Ireland include members from both communities and reflect the needs of the community as a whole. Grant recipients adhere to the principle of equality of opportunity and non-discrimination in employment with regard to religious affiliation.

The 1997 contribution will bring the U.S. total since enactment of the Anglo-Irish Support Act of 1986 to $267.9 million.

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