Minister Ahern announces over US$1 million in grants to Irish community organisations in the US,Funding increases by 29%
Mr Dermot Ahern T.D, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, today announced grants totalling US$1.183 million (€919,374) to 14 Irish community organisations in the US engaged in the provision of support and advisory services that are accessed by Irish emigrants.
In announcing an unprecedented level of Government support to these groups, the Minister said:
“Government funding to the Irish immigration centres in the US continues to rise very significantly. In a clear reflection of the Government's strong resolve to support the more vulnerable members of our community in the US, funding this year is up 29% on last year, it is close to double the amount distributed in 2004 and is more than three-times the funding available in 2003”
The Minister warmly commended the work of the Irish immigration centres in the US.
“The information and advisory services that the Irish immigration centres offer are of great benefit to the more vulnerable members of our community in the US. Their services are of particular value to the undocumented Irish whose welfare remains an issue of deep concern to the Government. We will continue to attach the highest priority to representing their interests in the critical period ahead.”
The Minister added that he greatly values the services that the centres are developing to respond to the needs of the Irish community.
“The Government is happy to support the work that the Irish centres are carrying out to develop a wider range of support services for our community in the US. In this regard, I welcome in particular the development of services for older Irish people in the US.”
The Minister today also announced a grant of US$10,000 towards the costs of a memorial in New York to commemorate Irish soldiers who died during the Korean War. Funding was also extended for the first time to two web-based publications, with grants of €5,000 each to the Newshound and the Irish Emigrant.
Note for Editors
The grants to the Irish immigration centres announced today total US$1,183,050 (€919,000). This represents an increase of 29% on the amount distributed in 2005 (US$915,000). It is close to double the amount disbursed in 2004 (US$653,242) and more than three-times the funding available in 2003 (US$356,000).
Since 1990 the Department of Foreign Affairs has allocated over US$6.8 million to the Irish Immigration Centres in the United States.
Funding supports the delivery of advice and information to Irish emigrants in the US. Particular priority is attached to supporting the work of the front line community organisations engaged with vulnerable Irish citizens, including undocumented Irish people. Further information on the work of the immigration centres may be obtained from the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centres (firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 00-617-9870193) or directly from the centres concerned.
The Irish Korean War Memorial Committee (www.irishinkorea.org) has been granted permission by the Board of Green-wood Cemetery in Brooklyn to erect a Memorial to Irish born soldiers serving in the US military under UN authorization that died in the Korean War. The Committee is engaged in fund raising activities and today's grant will support them in meeting the costs of the Memorial.
The two web-based publications receiving grants today, Newshound (www.nuzhound.com ) and the Irish Emigrant (www.emigrant.ie ), provide Irish communities abroad, and those with an interest in Ireland, with a useful resource to keep in touch with developments in Ireland.
Overall, Government funding for emigrant services continues to rise significantly. In 2006 Department of Foreign Affairs funding in this area has reached €12 million, representing an increase of 45% on 2005. Most of this allocation is directed to groups in Britain, with the rest directed to groups in the US, Australia and elsewhere.
Grants to Irish immigration centres in the US
2006 US $
New York Consular Area
Aisling Irish Centre
Emerald Isle Immigration Centre
New York Irish Centre
Project Irish Outreach
Coalition of Irish Immigration Centres
Boston Consular Area
Irish Immigration Centre, Boston
Irish Pastoral Centre, Boston
San Francisco Consular Area
Irish Immigration Pastoral Center, San Francisco
Chicago Consular Area
Chicago Irish Immigrant Support
Total to Irish immigration centres $1,183,050
Irish Korean War Memorial Committee
The Irish Emigrant
26th July 2006