Irish organizations are rushing to help the besieged Irish community of Breezy Point in Queens which was devastated after the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy.
The American Ireland Fund authorized a $100,000 grant to Breezy Point associations and to Irish immigrant groups affected by the storm.
A prominent American Ireland Fund member, Robert McCann, then matched the Ireland Fund donation and many others are expected to follow.
In a statement, Ireland Fund CEO Kieran McLoughlin said, “The impact of Hurricane Sandy has been devastating, particularly on vulnerable members of our community. The tri-state area has always stood up for Ireland at its time of need. Now we would like to reciprocate.
“Consequently The American Ireland Fund is making a gift of $100,000 to assist the disaster relief efforts. This gift will be made to The New York Irish Centre, Long Island, The Emerald Isle Irish Centre, Queens, The Aisling Irish Centre, the Bronx and Queens.
“These centers cater for the elderly and marginal members of the Irish American community, The Forgotten Irish, in areas that have been severely affected.
“We are also making a gift to support the community in Breezy Point in Queens which has been horribly affected.
“We hope the gift will help the relief efforts in some small way and help a city and region that has always stood by us.”
President-General Dr. Kevin Cahill stated that the events surrounding Hurricane Sandy and the devastation at Breezy Point meant that urgent help was needed.
Honorary Chairmen are former Coca-Cola President Donald R. Keough and Irish Consul General Noel Kilkenny as well as a distinguished board of Irish Americans.
Breezy Point is the most Irish neighborhood in America according to the 2010 Irish census with a population over 60 per cent Irish American.
The community has been devastated by the hurricane with over 100 houses burned to the ground and many left homeless.
There were heartbreaking scenes as residents returned to Breezy after their evacuation and many found their homes destroyed.
The community, which has many firemen and police, also suffered greatly on 9/11 when 32 men from the community died.