Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Charlie Flannagan announced that the 2015 Budget will maintain the Emigrant Support Programme at its 2014 level of almost €12m ($15m). In a speech to Dáil Eireann, Minister Flannagan said "This support, along with the appointment of my colleague, Minister of State Deenihan as Ireland's first every Minister for the Diaspora, demonstrates Ireland's commitment to assist Irish people living abroad"
Since its establishment in 2004, the Emigrant Support Programme has disbursed more than €110 million. In 2013, the Department of Foreign Affairs sponsored scheme provided funding to 182 organizations in 15 countries. The largest portion, €6.8m, went to organizations in Britain, €1.6m to those in the US, €1.4m to Ireland-based organizations and €400k to Australian community groups. The remaining funds supported organizations in Singapore, Canada, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, France, South Africa, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Spain, Norway and the Netherlands.
Mr. Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister of State for Diaspora Affairs, approved grants for three Boston area organizations that provide services to Irish immigrants. These grants are to cover the period 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015.
The Irish International Immigrant Center was awarded $259,998, the Irish Pastoral Centre received $158,000 and $130,000 went to The Irish Cultural Centre of New England.
For more information on the Emigrant Support program, including complete details of all grants issued through FY 2013, visit: www.dfa.ie/our-role-policies/the-irish-abroad/emigrant-support-programme/