Minister Cowen announces Grants for Irish Emigrant Groups in US
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen, T.D., today announced funding of $356,000 for immigration centres in the US.
The announcement was made at a meeting in New York today with the Irish Immigration Working Committee (IIWC). The grants are for the period 2003-2004 and represent an increase of $56,000 on last year's allocation.
Speaking in New York, the Minister said “These grant awards are a recognition of the excellent work by Irish immigration support groups across the United States in providing information, advice and outreach services to Irish immigrants. The funding is a practical expression of the Government's support for these efforts. This announcement brings the total amount allocated to immigrant support organisations in the US by the Irish Government since 1990 to nearly US$4 million.”
Minister Cowen took the opportunity to thank the members of the IIWC for all their efforts in support of Irish immigrants in the US. He also paid tribute to the invaluable support and practical assistance that immigration support groups offer to immigrants and expressed the Government's appreciation for their dedication to the cause of Irish immigrants who find themselves in difficult circumstances.
The Minister assured the members of the IIWC that the Government remains committed to the implementation of the Report of the Task Force on Policy regarding Emigrants.
Minister Cowen made the following grant awards:
Emerald Isle Immigration Centre, New York $65,000
Project Irish Outreach, New York $47,000
Aisling Irish Center, New York $30,000
Irish Immigration and Pastoral Centre, Philadelphia $30,000
Irish Pastoral Centre, Boston $56,000
Irish Immigration Centre, Boston $56,000
Chicago Irish Immigration Support $16,000
Irish Immigration Pastoral Center, San Francisco $28,000
Irish Outreach, San Diego $4,000
Seattle Irish Immigration Support $2,000
Fáilte Irish Immigration Center, Washington DC $12,000
Irish Apostolate, USA $10,000
(Note for Editors attached)
Note for Editors:
Each year the Government of Ireland gives grants to organisations in the United States who provide advocacy and support services to Irish immigrants. The priority areas for distribution of the available funding are the provision of information, advice and outreach services for Irish immigrants. The grants are used for funding the administration of such services.
The New York Irish Immigration Working Committee (IIWC) was established by the Minister for Foreign Affairs in 1987 under the auspices of the Irish Consulate in New York to co-ordinate the activities of the main organisations engaged in the provision of advice to Irish immigrants. The Committee includes senior figures in the New York Irish-American community and representatives of organisations assisting Irish immigrants in the New York and Philadelphia areas.
The Task Force on Policy regarding Emigrants was established in December 2001. The purpose of the Task Force was to develop a coherent, long-term approach to our emigrants and their needs. The Task Force presented its Report at the end of August 2002. The report contains many wide-ranging and far-reaching proposals, many of which require additional resources. The Report also called for a new attitude to emigration and a new culture of communication and cooperation on the part of all those concerned in official and voluntary agencies. The new Social Partnership Agreement ASustaining Progress” (the successor to the PPF), provides a mechanism through which the recommendations of the Task Force could be advanced in the future.