Minister for Diaspora Affairs, Jimmy Deenihan, TD, will today highlight the importance of the GAA to Irish communities abroad during a discussion on emigration at the Kennedy Summer in New Ross.
In a session chaired by the legendary GAA commentator Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, Minister Deenihan will also speak about the strong partnership which the GAA and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have developed through the Emigrant Support Programme.
Speaking ahead of the panel discussion today, Minister Deenihan said:
“Strengthening connections with Irish communities abroad and promoting links with Irish people and people of Irish ancestry worldwide is a key objective of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The strong partnership between the Department and the GAA is invaluable in achieving this objective.
“Whether it is the traditional locations in Britain and the US, where there are many vibrant Irish communities, or the newer locations to which our emigrants are travelling, the GAA - probably more than any other single organisation - forms the cornerstone of these communities. The sense of belonging and connection with our heritage one feels in the home from home of the local GAA club in places as far flung as Myanmar or Vancouver is invaluable in keeping connections with Ireland alive.
“The relationship between the Department and the GAA is rooted in Dublin but active cooperation on the ground between clubs, our Embassies and Consulates is pivotal to the success of this partnership. I have seen this first hand over the years. In my role as Minister for Diaspora Affairs I hope to continue to develop this relationship with the GAA for the good of our emigrants.”
Páraic Duffy, Ard Stiúrthóir Chumann Lúthchleas Gael added:
“The GAA and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have worked hand in glove together around the globe with the common aim of acknowledging Irish people overseas and assisting them to maintain strong links with this country.
“Our Association is fully aware of the special role we have to play in fostering the growth and vibrancy of of Irish communities overseas, both in traditional outposts and places less synonymous with Irish people.
“It is a role we are delighted to fulfill and the support of the department has been hugely important in this regard most notably through the Emigrant Support Programme.”
12 September 2014
Notes to editors
• Since 2007, a partnership arrangement with the GAA has facilitated Emigrant Support Programme support for the GAA’s Community Development Officers in Britain and the US.
• In 2012 following a review of the funding to the GAA, the programme was extended to also include a Global Games Development Fund for GAA projects abroad, outside of Britain and the US. This involved no significant increase in the overall ESP funding to the GAA.
• Projects under the Global Games Development Fund are funded 50% by the GAA and 50% from the Emigrant Support Programme. Examples of the funding for 2014 are €4,000 to the Myanmar Celts GAA, €1,000 to the Slovak Shamrocks GAA, €3,500 to Den Haag GAA, €6,000 to Queensland GFHA and €4,000 to Vancouver ISSC.