Ireland’s Diaspora Minister Ciaran Cannon has announced £5.2m in grants to Irish organisations in the UK under the Emigrant Support Programme.
The lion’s share of the grants went to a handful of organisations, notably the London Irish Centre in Camden which gets £452,000, closely followed by the Irish in Britain group (formerly the Federation of Irish Societies) which gets £400,000, Irish Community Care gets £274,800 and the 60-year old Irish Chaplaincy receives £235,000.
The Birmingham Irish Association gets £208,000. Nearly a dozen other organisations get between £100,000 and £200,000, including London GAA and the Traveller Movement.
The smallest grant, for £580, goes to the Manchester Irish Language Group. The spending is a 700k increase on last year’s total.
Almost £30 million has been provided to organisations in Britain through the ESP over the past six years, with the bulk of that funding going to organisations such as those mentioned above.
Minister Cannon, a Galway TD, said that so far this year, grants had been provided to 108 organisations in support of a range of projects.
“The diverse range of projects funded reflects the Government’s continued commitment to these organisations, in particular, those which provide frontline advisory services and community care to those in greatest need of support.
“They offer invaluable assistance to our emigrants, especially the most vulnerable, through advice and welfare programmes combatting loneliness, homelessness, addiction and mental health issues,” the Minister said.
“In 2018, for the first time, dedicated funding was provided to collaborative projects which brought together a range of organisations to address a particular need. In addition, grants have been made to Irish cultural and sporting organisations as well as business networks.
“It is my hope that this funding will assist in the promotion of a vibrant and active Irish community in Britain, whose contribution the Government values highly, and who have an important role to play in the challenging period ahead.”
The main focus for funding under the Emigrant Support Programme, the Department of Foreign Affairs said, remains the frontline welfare service providers that support elderly Irish emigrants and other vulnerable members of our communities worldwide.