DIASPORA Minister Colm Brophy has welcomed a €500,000 increase in the annual Emigrant Support Programme (ESP) budget.
Created in 2004, more than €182million in grants have been awarded to more than 530 organisations in 36 countries through the ESP fund.
Grants range from small amounts for grass-roots groups, to major allocations awarded to voluntary and community organisations operating on a large scale.
In 2019 £5.5million in grants was awarded to 105 organisations serving the Irish community in Britain.
Regarding the increased funding for the 2021 grant allocations, Mr Brophy said: “I am delighted to announce that the Government has increased its support for our Diaspora, bringing the total funding for Irish communities around the world to over €13 million in 2021.
“This increase in funding will strengthen our capacity to work with the hundreds of community organisations worldwide who provide support for the most vulnerable members of the Diaspora.
"It also means that we can offer additional funding to help Irish people and people of Irish descent to remain connected to Ireland through our shared culture and heritage.”
He added: “In the coming weeks, I am looking forward to launching the Government’s new Diaspora Strategy and ensuring that we have the resources available to implement it.
“The welfare of our people abroad will remain at heart of the Strategy but at the same time it will also seek to celebrate the global Irish community of today in all its diversity.”