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    Emigrant Services funding to increase by 25%

    Friday, November 17th, 2006

    Funding for Emigrant Services abroad will increase by 25% in 2007, to €15.2 million, up from €12 million this year. Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern commented, “This represents a fifteen-fold increase in such provision since 1997 and reflects the Government’s strong commitment to the welfare of the Irish abroad.?

    The funding will mainly go to groups in Britain that provide front-line services to emigrants there. There will also be substantial increases for emigrant groups providing services in the United States, Australia and elsewhere.

    The funding increase was announced in the 2007 Estimates published today. Other Foreegn Affairs-related funding incraases include a nearly €130 million increase in aid to developing countries, up from 600.5 million this year to €738 million next year.

    Grants given to groups in South Africa and Zimbabwe

    Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

    The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern, has announced €40,000 worth of funding for Irish organisations in South Africa and Zimbabwe – the first-ever fuding to those regions.

    Mr Ahern noted that the funding is part of a total package of grants worth €12 million being distributed to Irish communities abroad this year, twelve times that of 1997. Funding was granted this year for the first time to organisation in Canada and Argentina, along with the continued support given to Irish community organisation in Britain, the US and Australia.
    He added,

    Today’s announcement concerning Irish associations in South Africa and Zimbabwe represents a further welcome development. We deeply appreciate the strong and unifying focal points which the Irish associations in South Africa and Zimbabwe provide for our community there, many of whom – including members of religious orders – live some very considerable distance apart from each other. Today’s grants will help these Irish associations to sustain their valuable community support structures into the future.

    The grants announced by the Minister were:

    South Africa

    • Cape Town Irish Association – €10,000
    • Durban Irish Society – €10,000


    • Mashonaland Irish Association, Harare – €15,000
    • Irish Association of Bulawayo – €5,000

    See the full press release at the Department of Foreign Affairs website.
    See the full list of grants at the Department of Foreign Affairs website.

    Minister re-iterates support

    Tuesday, August 15th, 2006

    Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern has re-emphasised the Government’s commitment to supporting the interests of the Irish abroad. He said, “This commitment is reflected in the fact that funding for emigrant services has never been higher. I am delighted that the unprecedented amount of €12 million has been allocated for this purpose this year. This follows on other substantial increases in recent years, so that funding is now twelve-times the sum that was available when this Government came to office in 1997.?

    Commenting on the distribution of grants, the Minister said:
    “So far this year I have been happy to announce grants exceeding €9 million. Most of this funding is being distributed to organisations in Britain that support Irish people there. In July I approved grants to over 140 organisations throughout Britain that are engaged in a wide range of activities of benefit to our community there.
    The bulk of funding to groups in Britain, which I expect will reach some €9 million by the end of the year, is allocated to welfare projects that benefit the vulnerable members of our community there. I am also delighted that increased funding has enabled us to support a much wider range of initiatives in Britain than was possible in the past, including social, heritage and sporting projects which foster a sense of community.
    The interests of the Irish in the United States remain an important priority for the Government. I have been happy to announce funding to organisations there of over €1 million. The information and advisory services provided by Irish organisations in the US make a critical difference for many members of our community there. These services are of particular value to the undocumented Irish whose welfare remains an issue of deep concern for the Government.
    While most funding is directed to organisations in Britain and the United States, I have also been happy to announce financial support to a number of organisations in Ireland that are engaged in activities of benefit to Irish people abroad. I have also approved first time funding to Irish-Argentine community organisations. I look forward to announcing further grants later in the year to Irish community groups abroad, including to organisations in Australia and elsewhere.?

    See the full press release on the Department of Foreign Affairs website.

    Irish homeless in London figures fall

    Monday, August 14th, 2006

    The number of Irish people sleeping rough in central London has fallen to about 100 this year – a figure that said was an all-time low. This is down from 600 in 1999. The figures come from the Simon Homeless Agency, which credits increased Dion funding for the reduction.

    Three Irish-Argentine community organisations have…

    Friday, August 11th, 2006

    Three Irish-Argentine community organisations have been granted funding by the Department of Foreign Affairs; this is the first time that Argentine community groups have received funding. In making the announcement, Minister Noel Treacy said, “The descendants of the men and women who left Galway, Mayo, Westmeath, Longford, Wexford, and other parts of Ireland and settled in Argentina are also distinguished by the fact that they form the largest community of Irish descent outside of English-speaking countries.? He added that next year will mark the 150th anniversary of the death of Mayo-born founder of the Argentine Navy, Admiral Browne.
    The funding went to:

    • Spanish-language newspaper The Southern Cross, which was founded by the Irish-Argentine community in 1875; the €12,000 in funding will be used for new equipment and for preservation of early editions.
    • The Fahy Club, named after a Galway-born priest Anthony Dominic Fahy, has received a grant of €15,000; they will use the money to update its facilities.
    • The Federation of Irish-Argentine Associations has received €15,000 to support an Executive Secretary post.

    There is substantial information on the Irish in Argentina at

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