Irish Government grants £5.1m emigrant support funding for charities in Britain
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Irish Government grants £5.1m emigrant support funding for charities in Britain

IRISH charities in Britain have been allocated £5.1million in funding grants this year by the Irish Government with a continued focus on supporting vulnerable and marginalised member of the community here.

The funding represents a small decrease on last year’s Emigrant Support Programme (ESP) grants, which totalled £5.4million.

Jimmy Deenihan, Ireland’s new Minister for the Diaspora, announced details of the Emigrant Support Programme at the Irish Embassy in London.

Speaking in London, Mr Deenihan said the funding remains a “key element of our engagement with the Irish abroad”.

“The focus of the ESP in Britain will continue to be on supporting the more vulnerable and marginalised members of the community,” added the minister, who took up the newly-created post in July.

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This year’s allocation supports 113 organisations in Britain, with £4.5million going to charities providing welfare services to the Irish community.

Globally a total of e12,595,000 was given in funding to Irish groups worldwide, with the majority going to Britain.

The Irish Government also announced a global increase in Diaspora funding of e1million (£792,971) for 2015.

Edinburgh’s Festival of Ireland was one of seven organisations here who received funding for the first time.

Willie Haynes, who chairs the festival, said he was “over the moon” to receive £3,000.

“The money will not only help formalise the festival but lay the basis for cultural activities in the future,” he added.

The London Irish Centre was the highest recipient in this year’s ESP receiving £500,000.

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Coventry Irish Society received £95,000, which is 20 per cent less than last year.

CIS Welfare Manager Simon McCarthy said: “We’ve had another reduction in our grant. We’re managing to keep going, but we’re running short of staff. It just makes it more difficult to manage operations. ESP money is essentially for salaries. So we’re on a shortfall with overheads. It’s a big challenge, but it’s one we’re determined to meet.”

In the summer there were fears the charity, which provides crucial health and welfare services for thousands of vulnerable Irish people across the city, would have to be wound up after its annual grant of £30,000 from Coventry Council was pulled after 21 years.

But Mr McCarthy said a grant from the Lottery, and a business plan developed with Coventry University, means new initiatives are still being developed.

The Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith also saw a slight reduction in funding of £8,500 to a total of £131,500.

The centre, which received a £550,000 grant from the Irish Government in 2012 to help buy its West London premises, is currently embarking on a major construction project at their new centre.

Jim O’Hara, Chairman of the ICCH, said: “The Emigrant Support Programme has been vital to many organisations in Britain. Even those small cuts are significant. Particularly for ourselves who happen to be in a difficult year this year and next. There’s got to be that understanding.”

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The full list of organisations in Britain who received ESP funding this year:

Acton Homeless Concern £33,000
Age UK Hillingdon £12,500
Aisling Project £90,000
Ashford Place (formerly CHC) £151,000
Bell Farm Christian Centre £7,500
Benefits Advice Shop £3,500
Birmingham TradFest £2,000
Blackfriars Advice Centre £10,000
Bolton Irish Community Association £5,000
Brent Centre for Young People £18,000
Brent Irish Advisory Service (BIAS) £142,500
Brian Boru Club £19,000
Causeway Irish Housing Association £15,000
Celtic & Irish Cultural Society £14,000
Connection at St. Martins, The £18,000
Conradh na Gaeilge, Glaschú £36,500
Console £40,000
Coventry Irish Society £95,000
Cyrenians £8,000
Doncaster Irish Association £3,500
Edinburgh's Festival of Ireland £3,000
Emerald Centre, The £44,000
Emerald Circle Club £3,000
Emerald Senior Citizens Group £5,000
Feith an Cheoil School of Irish Traditional Music £3,500
Felling Irish Association, The £600
Friends, Families and Travellers £18,000
Golden Shamrock Club, The £9,000
Greenwich Irish Pensioners Association £3,500
Halifax and District Irish Society £9,000
Halifax Irish Centre £1,000
Haringey Cultural and Community Centre £145,000
Haslingden IDL Club £4,000
Hibernian Society, The £22,000
Huddersfield Irish Centre £3,500
Huddersfield St. Patrick's Day Parade Association £4,000
Immigrant Counselling and Psychotherapy (ICAP) £145,000
Innisfree Housing Association £25,000
Irish Arts Foundation £68,000
Irish Chaplaincy in Britain £215,000
Irish Community Care Manchester £144,000
Irish Community Care Merseyside £231,300
Irish Community Services £208,500
Irish Cultural Centre, Hammersmith £131,500
Irish Diaspora Foundation £39,000
Irish Elderly Advice Network £94,000
Irish Heritage £6,500
Irish Heritage Foundation, Glasgow £40,000
Irish in Birmingham £182,000
Irish in Britain £427,000
Irish Literary Society £2,000
Irish International Business Network (IIBN) £25,000
Irish Network Stevenage £750
Irish Pensioners Choir £2,000
Irish Pensioners Forum of East London £4,000
Irish Repertory Theatre and Film Company £8,000
Irish Tuesday Club, Liverpool £7,000
Irish World Heritage Centre £25,000
Kilburn Irish Pensioners £2,000
Lancashire Federation of IDL Clubs £1,000
Leeds Gypsy & Traveller Exchange £43,000
Leeds Irish Health & Homes £120,500
Leeds St. Patrick's Day Parade & Celebrations £9,000
Leicester & Leicestershire Irish Forum £33,500
Lewisham Irish Community Centre £52,000
Lewisham Irish Pensioners Group £5,500
Liverpool Irish Festival £7,500
London Gypsy and Traveller Unit £89,500
London Irish Amateur Rugby Club £7,200
London Irish Centre £500,000
London Irish Graduate Network £1,000
London Irish Music School £1,000
Luton Irish Forum £90,250
Manchester Irish Language Group £500
Mansfield & Dukeries Irish Association £5,500
Marion Senior Citizens Group £2,000
Maya Centre £15,000
Milton Keynes Irish Centre £31,000
Mind Yourself £50,000
Momentum Care Irish Elders Centre (Rehab) £45,000
Monica's Place £58,000
New Horizon Youth Centre £38,000
NOAH Enterprise £72,000
North London Action for the Homeless £5,500
North Wales Irish Society £6,000
Northampton Irish Support Group £50,000
Nottingham St. Patrick's Day Parade £5,000
Oxford Irish Society £3,000
Passage, The £37,000
Queen's Park Senior Citizen Group £4,000
Safe Start Foundation £83,000
Sandwell Irish Society £31,500
SanKTus £24,000
SIFA Fireside £15,000
Solace Women's Aid (Camden Women's Aid) £40,000
South London Irish Association, The £10,000
Southwark Irish Pensioners £128,000
Southwark Irish Youth £5,000
Southwark Travellers Action Group £66,500
St. Michael's Irish Centre £53,000
St. Patrick's Festival Ltd. Birmingham £8,000
St. Patrick's Senior Tuesday Club £5,000
Streetwork UK £27,500
Tara Irish Pensioners £900
The Return ( formerly Return to Camden Town) £10,000
Traveller Movement, The (formerly ITMB) £113,000
Tricycle Theatre £3,000
Tuesday Club Leeds Irish Centre £3,000
Tyneside Irish Centre £14,000
Tyneside Irish Cultural Society £32,000
Warrington Irish Club £6,000
West Hampstead Women's Centre £6,000
Young At Heart Luncheon Group £7,000

Total £5,114,500