Strengthening connections with Irish Communities abroad and promoting links with Irish people and people of Irish ancestry worldwideis a key objective of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Central to achieving this objective is the Emigrant Support Programme (ESP), which is administered by the Irish Abroad Unit of the Department in Dublin and by our Embassies and Consulates abroad.
The ESP provides financial support to organisations engaged in the delivery of front line advisory services and community care to Irish emigrants, particularly to the more vulnerable and marginalised members of our community abroad, including the elderly.
While the support of frontline welfare services continues to be the priority of the ESP, the expansion of the programme has enabled the Government to invest in a range of cultural, community and heritage projects, which foster a vibrant sense of Irish community and identity, as well as strategic capital projects. These grants are a key part of the Government's approach to developing strong and meaningful links with Irish communities overseas and to securing the long term future of these communities.
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.