Minister Cowen announces grant of €150,000 to Federation of Irish Societies in Britain
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Brian Cowen T.D., has today announced an additional grant to the Federation of Irish Societies (FIS) in Britain of €150,000. This funding will enable the Federation to initiate a major programme to ensure that the Federation and its affiliates are able to engage to maximum effect with British Government agencies, local authorities and other funders, at local and national level.In this way, the programme will benefit over 100 organisations affiliated to the FIS and the Irish Community in Britain in general.
In announcing this grant, the Minister said
“I am very pleased to be able to make these funds available from savings in my Department's budget this year. By developing the capacity of the Federation of Irish Societies to secure additional funding from a range of sources, a grant of this kind has particularly significant impact, bringing with it much additional added value. It also represents a further step in the implementation of the recommendations of the Task Force on Policy regarding Emigrants”
Minister Cowen also announced the payment of the remaining balance of €150,928 to 16 organisations from the grants awarded by the Government's Díon Committee. These organisations include Acton Homeless Concern, Cricklewood Homeless Concern, the Irish Commission for Prisoners Overseas, the Irish in Greenwich Project and Southwark Irish Pensioners Project.
Notes for Editors:
The grant announced today is in addition to the additional €1 million for emigrant services which the Minister announced on 13 November 2003 he had secured in the Estimates for his Department in 2004. This will bring the total for 2004 to €4.063 million, an increase of a third in the funding provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs for these services.
The Díon Committee was established in 1984 to advise the Government on the allocation of grants to voluntary agencies providing services to Irish emigrants in the UK. Responsibility for the Díon Fund transferred from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment to the Department of Foreign Affairs in February 2003. The provision for the Díon fund this year is €2.573 million.
This grant to the Federation of Irish Societies brings the total funding this year for emigrant services in Britain to €2.723 million, compared to €2.708 million for 2002.
Díon is currently funding 57 organisations, reaching over 30,000 vulnerable Irish people in Britain.