Ireland’s Diaspora Minister Ciarán Cannon visted the Leeds Irish Centre recently, one of the largest Irish Centres in Britain.
During his trip he paid a courtesy call to the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Jane Dowson, before visiting Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Exchange, an Emigrant Support Programme (ESP) supported organisation providing support for Travellers in the Leeds area.
Afterwards he hosted a lunch for twenty-four Irish community leaders from Leeds, Manchester, Huddersfield, and Newcastle.
He then attended an event hosted by Leeds Irish House and Home (LIHH) to hear how that ESP-funded body addresses the needs t has identified in the local Irish community.
Said Minister Cannon, a Galway TD: “I am delighted to have this opportunity to visit Leeds, one of the historic centres of the Irish community in Britain, and to have the opportunity to meet many of the key leaders of the community from Leeds and regionally, across a wide range of organisations catering to the social, welfare, cultural and sporting needs of the community.
“The Government (of Ireland) is firmly committed to supporting our diaspora. I’m delighted to take this opportunity to meet with organisations which receive funding through the Emigrant Support Programme to see how they are addressing the needs of our community in Britain.”
Last week Mr Cannon also launched the first edition of the Global Irish Diaspora Directory which includes the details of Irish community welfare, culture and heritage and networking groups in 34 countries.
“This is a great initiative which has been developed to meet a real desire among our diaspora to connect better with home and with each other around the world.
“Ultimately the purpose of this Diaspora Directory is to help Irish Diaspora organisations improve their communications and collaboration with each other, and to assist people looking to reach out to Irish organisations abroad.”
“For the first time we are able to showcase the diversity of work that the Irish diaspora is engaged in and I’m pleased to see such excellent representation from groups engaging in frontline welfare services as well as those who are working tirelessly to preserve our heritage and culture overseas.”
The directory lists 360 organisations, including all organisations that have been funded in the last five years by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s annual 11.59 million Emigrant Support Programme (ESP).
Any organisation that was represented at the 2015 or 2017 Global Irish Civic Forum is also included in the Directory. All the details in the directory have been sourced from publicly available information.
Electronic copies of the Diaspora Directory are available at: www.dfa.ie