DIASPORA Minister Jimmy Deenihan has paid tribute to those working to support Birmingham’s elderly Irish.
As part of his latest British visit, the Minister spent time in the Midlands city where he met with two charities funded under the Emigrant Support Programme – the Birmingham Irish Association and Monica’s Place.
“As the first Minister for the Diaspora it is vital that I engage with all sectors of the Irish community abroad,” he said, paying tribute to the charities’ staff and volunteers.
The Birmingham Irish Association provides welfare services to the Irish community, while Monica’s Place provides accommodation and welfare services to elderly Irish men with substance abuse problems in the Birmingham area.
The Minister’s trip was part of a series of engagements with the Irish community in London and Birmingham this week.
Minister Deenihan also launched London Irish Art 2015, an innovative showcase which explores the experience of the Irish Diaspora in Britain.
The exhibition which ran from January 14-17 featured works by artists based in Britain and Ireland including Louis le Brocquy, Gemma Billington, Liam O’Neill, John Behan and James Brohan.
Artist Hughie O’Donoghue made a presentation at the launch on his Diaspora experience of culture, identity and creativity.
The Minister also attended a breakfast with members of the Irish International Business Network in London.