Minister Deenihan to visit Canada and the United States04 May 2015
Minister for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan, TD, will begin a visit to Newfoundland, New Jersey, Connecticut and New York today (Monday 4 May).
His programme will include a range of community, cultural, heritage and business elements.
While in Canada, the Minister will view a special exhibition on Irish migration to Newfoundland and meet with the Benevolent Irish Society, the Irish Society of Newfoundland and the Irish Connections organisations. He will also have the opportunity meet recent Irish migrants to Newfoundland.
Speaking before his visit the Minister said:
“I am very much looking forward to meeting some of the Irish community in Newfoundland – some of whom have Irish roots that can be traced to the 17th century who still have a strong and deep attachment to Ireland and our shared heritage.”
Following a visit to Celtic Explorer, the Marine Institute ship which is currently mapping fish stocks off the Newfoundland coast, the Minister will then continue to New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.
His programme will include a visit to Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum and Institute at Quinnipiac University which is home to the world’s largest collection of visual art, artefacts and printed materials relating to the Great Famine.
He will attend the American Ireland Fund’s Gala Dinner in New York and participate in Pieta House’s Darkness into Light 5k Walk in the Bronx.
The Minister noted:
"I am particularly looking forward to participating in the Darkness into Light Walk to highlight the ongoing partnerships between Pieta House and a number of community organisations in New York including the GAA. Through these partnerships, which are part-funded under the Emigrant Support Programme, excellent work is being undertaken to provide mental wellbeing support to our diaspora in the New York region."
The Minister will also attend Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann’s annual North American Convention and Fleadh which brings together the best of Irish traditional music, dance and arts in North America.
4 May 2015
Notes for Editors:
- Emigrant Support Programme: Since 1984, the Irish Government has given financial support through its Emigrant Support Programme to voluntary agencies providing advice and welfare services to Irish emigrants overseas. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade working through Ireland’s Embassy Network coordinates the provision of support to communities abroad and administers the programme. The main focus for funding under the Emigrant Support Programme remains the frontline welfare service providers that support the elderly, and other vulnerable Irish emigrants. In more recent years the programme has also recognised the importance of strong and active Irish communities more generally, funding projects which foster a sense of community, promoting vibrant networks and a sense of Irishness among the Irish abroad.
- Pieta House received a grant of €72,258 to provide counselling and suicide prevention services to the Irish community in New York. The grant will allow Pieta House to extend their crisis services for those considering suicide and self harm to the United States. The funding will enable Pieta House to set up a pilot programme with the three main Irish centres in New York: the Aisling Center, the New York Irish Center and the Emerald Isle Immigration Center. This will include establishing a “Pieta Room” in the New York Irish Center as the main point of referral for Irish people in crisis in the New York area. Funding will also support the training of counsellors and counselling services. In addition, Pieta House will work in partnership with the GAA to deliver the Mind Ur Buddy Programme to GAA members in New York. Mind Ur Buddy is a peer support programme designed to help individuals spot when a colleague or teammate may be in suicidal crisis. Pieta House aims to train 500 GAA members in New York.