Deputies

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Funding services for Irish emigrants in new destinations

Niall Collins (FF, Limerick) raised the issue of €1.3m cuts in services provided by voluntary organizations for Irish emigrants abroad (Dail Eireann, Debates, 17th January 2012, 771-2).  The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore, said he did not expect frontline services to be affected.  In 2011, €11.27m was provided for 200 organizations in 20 countries and the 2012 allocation was broadly in line with that of the previous year.  The reduction would affect the funding of large-scale capital projects as had been done in recent years.  The reduction in 2012 was not attributable to any one country and the new grant round would be open from 18th January to 29th February.  

 

Sean O Fearghaill (FF, Kildare S) welcomed his assurance that funding would be intelligently spread, but pointed out that it was down from a height of €15m in 2008.  What about the new emigration destinations, such as Canada?  The minister agreed on the importance of assisting new emigrants and a new Irish support centre would soon open in Canada.  They had concentrated on helping the GAA to develop facilities and supported the GAA in its network of contacts, especially with new emigrants.