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    Irish government announces additional US funding

    By Noreen Bowden | January 7, 2009

    Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin has announced another round of funding for Irish community projects in the US, bringing the 2008 total for Emigrant Support funding to over $5 million.

    The $2 million in funding announced this week will cover several capital projects:

    • JFK Presidential Library and Museum, Boston ($1,000,000)
    • San Francisco GAA Facilities ($500,000)
    • Chicago Gaelic Park ($250,000)
    • Rockland County GAA ($200,000)
    • Irish Americans in Government, New York ($20,000)

    Several emigrant services project are also getting funding:

    • New York Irish Centre ($80,000)
    • Ancient Order of Hibernians ($20,000)
    • Aisling Irish Centre, New York ($20,000)
    • Senior Helpline Project, New York ($15,000)

    In announcing the funding, Minister Martin said,

    “I am announcing grants for three major Irish community development projects in San Francisco, Chicago and New York. Earlier this year, I announced funding for another major Irish community development project in Boston. Each of these projects marks a new and exciting phase in the development of the large Irish communities in these cities. The involvement of the GAA in each of the projects is pivotal given that the organisation is a key focal point for our people in the US, and it is to be praised for its work within those communities.”

    “These investments are a strong indication of the enormous value the Government places on supporting our people in the United States and of our firm commitment to building even closer ties with the Irish American community. It is a community to which we in Ireland have on many occasions over the years turned to for advice and practical assistance. It is also a partnership which will secure the long term future of the Irish community in America”

    “I know from my own visits to the United States how committed our communities are to maintaining their own distinctive culture and tradition and their links with Ireland. I believe that there is an onus on us to assist them in their efforts. This investment represents a win- win for Ireland and our community in the US. “

    “I also know how it is so important that the Irish in America have a focal point where they can meet, particularly for our older people who can so easily become isolated as their social networks splinter and sometimes disappear altogether. These are the very people who over the years would have sent substantial amounts in financial remittances back to Ireland and it is important that their contribution not be forgotten.”

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

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