Minister Cowen announces IR£1 Million grant for Birmingham Irish Centre
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D., announced today that following representations from the Irish community in Birmingham, the Birmingham City Council and the Federation of Irish Societies in Britain, he has decided to provide a grant of IR£1 million to the Irish Centre in Birmingham.
The Centre has gone through difficult times and is at present in the hands of a receiver. Without the Government's financial support it would have been lost to the community. The Centre will now be restructured under new management.
Speaking this afternoon Minister Cowen said:
"I am pleased to announce this rescue package for the Irish Centre in Birmingham. The Irish community in the city endured a difficult period during the course of the Troubles. I am deeply conscious of the importance of the Centre to the Irish community and the crucial role it has played in sustaining their social and community life down the years.
"It is my belief that the Centre will now enter a new era of success. I am delighted that Birmingham City Council has decided to designate the Digbeth area of the city, where the Centre is located, as the Irish Quarter. A vibrant Irish Centre will make a significant contribution to this endeavour and will be a valuable asset, not just for the Irish community but for the city of Birmingham."