The London Irish Centre and Irish in Britain were the largest beneficiaries of the Irish government’s 2016-17 Emigrant Support Programme, it was revealed today.
Minister for the Diaspora and International Development, Joe McHugh, announced the details of the grants, which amount to more than £4.7 million and aid 108 organisations across Britain.
The Camden-based London Irish Centre received a £400,000 boost as part of the scheme, while the charity Irish in Britain took £398,000.
Irish Community Care Merseyside, the Irish Chaplaincy in Britain and Irish Community Services all received healthy support in excess of £200,000.
Approximately three-quarters of the organisations were given amounts under £50,000.
Mr McHugh paid special tribute to the organisations he has directly come into contact with, such as the Irish Centre, ICAP (Immigrant Counselling and Psychotherapy) and Conradh Na Gaelige.
He expressed his gratitude and admiration to all the recipients, however, noting the invaluable work they do for the emigrant community in Britain.
“My colleagues in Government and I are committed to supporting our emigrants and these grants of over £4.7 million under the Department’s Emigrant Support Programme is a clear demonstration of this strong commitment,” he explained.
“The organisations we support offer invaluable assistance to our emigrants, especially the most vulnerable, through advice and welfare programmes.
“This funding is also important for supporting a vibrant and active Irish community Britain, the value of which has only been heightened as we face into challenging and uncertain times.”
The Minister made particular reference to the volunteers among the organisations, describing them as “an inspiration to us all”.
“I have already benefited from meeting many of the incredible volunteers who work tirelessly to support Irish co
mmunities throughout Britain and have seen first-hand the enormous contribution they are making in a spirit of warmth and care for others,” he added.
The full list of recipients can be found at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s website: www.dfa.ie