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    Minister re-iterates support

    By admin | August 15, 2006

    Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern has re-emphasised the Government’s commitment to supporting the interests of the Irish abroad. He said, “This commitment is reflected in the fact that funding for emigrant services has never been higher. I am delighted that the unprecedented amount of €12 million has been allocated for this purpose this year. This follows on other substantial increases in recent years, so that funding is now twelve-times the sum that was available when this Government came to office in 1997.?

    Commenting on the distribution of grants, the Minister said:
    “So far this year I have been happy to announce grants exceeding €9 million. Most of this funding is being distributed to organisations in Britain that support Irish people there. In July I approved grants to over 140 organisations throughout Britain that are engaged in a wide range of activities of benefit to our community there.
    The bulk of funding to groups in Britain, which I expect will reach some €9 million by the end of the year, is allocated to welfare projects that benefit the vulnerable members of our community there. I am also delighted that increased funding has enabled us to support a much wider range of initiatives in Britain than was possible in the past, including social, heritage and sporting projects which foster a sense of community.
    The interests of the Irish in the United States remain an important priority for the Government. I have been happy to announce funding to organisations there of over €1 million. The information and advisory services provided by Irish organisations in the US make a critical difference for many members of our community there. These services are of particular value to the undocumented Irish whose welfare remains an issue of deep concern for the Government.
    While most funding is directed to organisations in Britain and the United States, I have also been happy to announce financial support to a number of organisations in Ireland that are engaged in activities of benefit to Irish people abroad. I have also approved first time funding to Irish-Argentine community organisations. I look forward to announcing further grants later in the year to Irish community groups abroad, including to organisations in Australia and elsewhere.?

    See the full press release on the Department of Foreign Affairs website.

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