Diaspora Minister visits Aisling Project during London trip

Diaspora Minister visits Aisling Project during London trip

JIMMY Deenihan met a family friend who has fallen into homelessness in London while on his first official trip to Britain as Diaspora Minister.

The Kerry-native made a special stop at St Mungo’s hostel while in the capital, to view the work being done by the Aisling Return to Ireland Project and to launch their new website.

While there he came across a family friend who used to deliver bread in Listowel as a young man but now lives at the Chichester Road centre in Kilburn.

Emigrant Support Programme reception at the Irish Embassy, London Jimmy Deenihan also addressed Irish community leaders at the Irish Embassy while on his first official visit to London (Photo: Malcolm McNally)

“The Minister met with workers and volunteers from the Aisling Project as well as our clients who have returned to Ireland with the project over the years,” Aisling Coordinator Alex McDonnell told The Irish Post.

“We were happy to welcome him to the hostel, where he chatted to the residents and enjoyed a splendid buffet and entertainment provided by London Irish musicians including Caroline Regan and Maria McCormick,” he added.

“And he was particularly pleased to meet a friend of his family from his home town in Kerry, who is now living at the Chichester Road hostel.”

The Minister took time to hear the future plans for the Aisling charity before launching their newly redeveloped website, which was redesigned by the Belfast-based Kainos Software firm.

“The new Aisling website will help us to reach out to more Irish people who are alone and estranged from Ireland and their families,” Alex explained.

“It will also help us to contact other Irish emigrants who would like to volunteer with the project and help us to support vulnerable Irish men and women in London.”

For further information visit www.aisling.org.uk