Colm Brophy, Ireland's Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, will announce details of more than $1 million in new funding for the Irish community in New York, the greater Tri-State Area, and Pennsylvania during a visit to New York City today, October 20.
The Minister will meet representatives from the organizations at the Consulate General of Ireland in New York City on Wednesday to thank them for the vital work they have done to support the Irish in America - especially the most vulnerable - over the difficult period of the Covid pandemic.
Twenty-four organizations in the US will benefit from the more than $1.1 million funding package which comes from the Government’s Emigrant Support Programme (ESP), run by Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs.
Grants are focused on providing frontline welfare, information, and advisory services to vulnerable Irish emigrants, community projects, and capital projects.
This year, an emphasis was placed on supporting organizations that are rebuilding their services post-pandemic, as well as reaching out to under-represented groups amongst the Irish diaspora.
The 2021 - 2022 funding will also go to culture and heritage projects, including those aimed specifically aimed at supporting the Irish language, music, the arts, the role of Irish women, diversity, and encouraging intergenerational engagement among the Irish diaspora.
The Programme also supports business networks, which help Irish business people and professionals to connect with each other and with others wishing to expand trade and investment to and from Ireland.
These are the US organizations that have been awarded funding in the 2021 - 2022 Grant Round:
- Aisling Irish Community Centre - $156,766
- Battery Heritage Foundation - $9,600
- Catholic Charities - $60,760
- Commodore John Barry Centre - $22,000
- Digital Irish - $24,000
- Emerald Isle Immigration Centre - $194,000
- Gael Scoil - $6,000
- Gingold Theatrical Group -$10,000
- Hudson Valley Irish Fest- $12,500
- Irish American Heritage Museum - $28,000
- Irish American Writers And Artists - $8,300
- Irish Business Organisation New York -$10,000
- Irish Diaspora Centre - $208,000
- Irish Network NYC - $4,000
- Irish Repertory Theatre - $50,000
- Museum of the American Revolution - $21,000
- New York Irish Centre - $123,000
- New York Irish History Roundtable - $3,500
- New York University Libraries - $8,000
- Origin Theatre Company - $30,000
- Our Steps - $20,000
- Irish Studies Queens College CUNY - $6,500
- Solace House - $20,000
- Sober St. Patrick's Day - $10,000
- YoFi Fest - $3,825
Ahead of the funding announcement, Minister Brophy said: “I am delighted to be in New York to announce the Irish Government’s contribution from the Emigrant Support Programme to 24 Irish community organizations in New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania and to acknowledge the remarkable work of our Diaspora over the past 18 months.
“While the greatest threat from the pandemic has passed, the year ahead will be challenging for all of our partner organizations as they rebuild their services and program of activities.
“My visit is a demonstration of the Irish Government’s continued commitment to support their efforts over the period ahead.”
The Minister added that he is "delighted" to hear that travel restrictions from Ireland to the US will be lifted for fully vaccinated travelers from November 8.
"This has been a very difficult and painful time for Irish people, both in Ireland and the US, who have been separated from loved ones for so long," Minister Brophy said. "I know that this great news will have brought great comfort and hope to many.
"This is something we, along with our EU colleagues, have been advocating for a considerable time.
"Ease of travel is vital for protecting our strong connections across the Atlantic, be that in business, academia, or family connections.
"Travel and tourism also go hand in hand, and my colleague Minister Catherine Martin was here last month for the launch of Tourism Ireland’s promotional campaign. Our message is that Ireland is open for business and we are looking forward to welcoming Americans back to Ireland.”
About Ireland's Emigrant Support Programme
The Emigrant Support Programme is a central component to the "Global Ireland: Ireland Diaspora Strategy 2020-2025," which sets out what the Irish Government will do over the next five years to support and engage with its diaspora communities around the world.
Since 1984, the Irish Government has given financial support to voluntary agencies providing advice and welfare services to Irish emigrants overseas. The Department of Foreign Affairs, working through Ireland’s embassy network, coordinates the provision of support to communities abroad and administers the program.
The main focus for funding under the Emigrant Support Programme remains frontline welfare service providers that support elderly Irish emigrants and other vulnerable members of our communities worldwide.
In more recent years, the program has also recognized the importance of strong and active Irish communities, funding projects which foster a sense of community, promoting vibrant networks and a sense of Irishness among the Irish abroad.
Further details can be found online here.
*Editor's Note: This article previously included AOH as a recipient, which is not correct, and omitted Sober St. Patrick's Day, which is a recipient.