The report was presented to Parliament and was approved, which means the scheme is now eligible for funding from the NIO and other statutory bodies.

Despite the scheme being considered by some as exclusively nationalist, UUP councillor Isaac Hanna spoke in support when the group initially applied for registration and said he was delighted that the application was approved.

“The scheme is now legitimate and people should make use of it because we need all the help we can get in addressing vandalism and anti-social behaviour in Newry and Mourne,” he said.

“They have proved that they work for the entire community and I supported them in trying to get registered because they put in a lot of voluntary work into addressing anti-social behaviour and community disputes.”

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