Biggest beneficiaries among 105 organizations are Irish in Britain umbrella group and London Irish Centre in Camden
Ireland’s Diaspora Minister Ciaran Cannon this week announced £4.5m 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 Irish in Britain (formerly the Federation of Irish Societies) which gets £388,000, closely followed by the London Irish Centre in Camden which gets £380,000, Irish Community Care gets £267,000 and the 60-year old Irish Chaplaincy gets £220,000.
The Birmingham Irish Association gets £197,000. Nearly a dozen other organisations get between £100,000 and £200,000. The smallest grant, for £700, goes to the Manchester Irish Language Group.
More than £24 million has been provided to organisations in Britain through the ESP over the past five years, with the bulk of that funding going to organisations such as those mentioned above.
Minister Cannon, a Galway TD, said so far this year, grants had been provided to 105 organisations in support of a range of projects.
“I am delighted and privileged to announce the Government’s contribution to the great work being done all across Britain in support of our emigrants and the wider Irish community.
“The continuing strength of the Emigrant Support Programme demonstrates the Government’s ongoing commitment to support the work of Irish organisations abroad, particularly those providing front-line services to elderly Irish people and others in need of support. The high quality of programmes delivered by all your organisations makes a significant and positive difference to the quality of life for many Irish people in Britain.
“These 105 organisations we are supporting in Britain offer invaluable assistance to our emigrants, especially the most vulnerable, through advice and welfare programmes combatting loneliness, homelessness, addiction and mental health issues.
“Support is also given to Irish cultural and networking organisations. This funding is vitally important for promoting a vibrant and active Irish community in Britain, the value of which has only been heightened as we face into challenging and uncertain times.
“However, I know that the real strength of the community comes from within, and I commend the ongoing contribution made by so many participants, volunteers and organisers whose work ensures that the sense of Irish community in Britain continues.
“In my visits to Britain so far, I have already benefited from meeting some of the incredible volunteers who work tirelessly to support Irish communities throughout Britain.
“And I have seen firsthand the enormous contribution they are making in a spirit of warmth and care for others. They are an inspiration to us all.”