Remarks by Mr. Brian Cowen T.D., Minister for Foreign Affairs, at a Reception to announce the 2004 Díon grants. Part II
Finally, I would like to thank the organisations represented in this room for their successful work in publicising our pre-1953 pensions scheme. Roughly 80% of those who qualify for a pre-1953 pension live outside Ireland, the majority in Britain. Or to put it another way, some €80 million worth of pre-1953 pensions will be paid by the Irish Government to Irish people living abroad in 2004. Many thousands of elderly Irish people living in Britain will see their quality of life improved, and rightly so, with this direct aid from the Government.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Irish Government is proud of the work that you do, and proud to be helping you to do it. And I know that this partnership between us can only grow in strength and effectiveness over the coming period, including through the new dynamic which will be generated by the structural changes in my Department that I spoke about earlier. As Minister for Foreign Affairs, I am indeed extremely grateful, and appreciative of all your support and solidarity.Top