Coventry’s main Irish organisation may no longer be “sustainable” unless new permanent premises are soon acquired.
Coventry Irish Society (CIS) is asking for the support of the local Irish community to help them purchase new premises and ensure that they survive into the future.
The society and charity, formed in 1993, has for decades supported the vulnerable Irish but, the charity says, they now face an “uphill struggle for survival” since they do not have a site.
CIS, like similar charities and societies across the breadth of the UK, is supported by the Irish government’s Emigrant Support programme. However, without a building to call home, the charity say their existence may no longer be “sustainable”.
As well as providing services such as advice, support and information to the Irish community, the charity has used to specialist services such as Irish passports, Irish pensions and issues relating to abuse survivors. It also organises arts and cultural festivals within the city.
Currently, CIS is based at a temporary site at the Credit Union in Smithford Way, Coventry. Without this support from the Credit Union, the charity say that they would have closed last year.
Simon McCarthy, the manager of the CIS, noted the Irish community’s “generous spirit” and expressed his confidence that if the charity’s profile is risen, it can survive the current turbulence.
“We are appealing to the local Irish community to help us find new premises or to contribute to the charity. With an estimated 50,000 people in the city with an Irish connection the charity, in theory it could be thriving if the local community would support us,” he said. “We invite the local community to come and talk to us to find out about the work of the Charity.”
The Irish Society has a new online fundraising initiative, called ‘Local Giving’, whereby people can make a one off or monthly contribution via direct debit.
“If the local Irish community would even contribute just £2 a month this would be massive help to the Charity’s work,” Mr McCarthy added.