Minister for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan to visit San Francisco and San Diego05 February 2015
Minister for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan to visit San Francisco and San Diego
Minister for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan TD, is visiting San Jose, San Francisco and San Diego in the United States to meet technology leaders and explore ways to increase connections between Ireland and the diaspora.
In San Jose, the Minister will visit LinkedIn and meet with members of the Irish Technology Leadership Group. The Irish Technology Leadership Group comprises Irish and Irish-American technology executives and leaders who promote technological connections between Ireland and Silicon Valley.
Speaking at the start of his visit the Minister said:
“I have been meeting with all of the major tech companies based in Dublin to learn more about how technology can increase the connection our emigrants feel with home. I am delighted to now have the opportunity to meet with LinkedIn and the Irish Technology Leadership Group in the United States to hear their perspective on how technology will assist our diaspora in the future.”
In San Francisco the Minister will visit the United Irish Cultural Centre (UICC). The UICC, which was officially opened in 1975, was the first Irish social centre in the United States built entirely by volunteers from the community and community contributions. He will also meet with City Supervisor Mark Farrell, a UCD alumnus, in City Hall.
On building links with Irish alumni, Minister Deenihan said:
“Irish alumni are working in key roles all over the world, and I am looking forward to meeting with some of those in California. The upcoming Diaspora Policy will include actions to support Irish third level institutions to maintain links with their alumni overseas. I believe that our alumni are an important resource and want to support them in representing and promoting Ireland all over the world.”
In San Diego the Minister will meet with Irish Network San Diego, one of nineteen chapters of Irish Network USA across the United States. He will visit Irish Outreach, a non-profit organisation which assists and supports the Irish Community in San Diego. The Minister will also attend a GAA San Diego exhibition match while in the city.
In 2014, organisations supporting the Irish in the US received over €2million in Emigrant Support Programme funding bringing the total ESP expenditure in the US since 2003 to over €22million. The majority of funding relates to organisations providing welfare and information services to the Irish community, particularly the elderly. The organisations funded provide a range of services, from informal community networking groups for seniors to outreach services and advice in accessing entitlements. Funding was also provided to heritage, business networking and capital projects.
On Saturday the Minister will be guest of honour at an American Ireland Fund Dinner attended by the Mayor of San Diego Kevin Faulconer.
5 February 2015
Notes to Editors:
- The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Emigrant Support Programme (ESP) provides funding to not-for-profit organisations and projects to support Irish communities overseas and to facilitate the development of more strategic links between Ireland and the global Irish.
- The key objectives of the ESP are to support projects and initiatives that address the needs of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable Irish emigrants; enhance access for Irish emigrants and Irish community organisations to local statutory and voluntary services; foster a more vibrant sense of community and Irish identity amongst the Irish abroad; and encourage closer links between Irish communities abroad and Ireland, to the benefit of both.
- Since 2009, the Programme also supports projects aimed at creating practical results orientated links between Ireland and the global Irish, and projects that emerged as a consequence of the Global Irish Economic Forum and its follow up. In the past ten years over €114m has been disbursed from the Emigrant Support Programme in grants.