Dáil Éireann - Volume 387 - 21 February, 1989

Written Answers. - DÍON Funding.

113. Mr. J. Higgins asked the Minister for Labour the various areas of emigrant support which he proposes grant-aiding from the increased DÍON funding announced by the Minister for Finance in his 1989 budget speech.

Minister for Labour (Mr. B. Ahern): Government assistance to organisations providing advisory and welfare services to Irish emigrants in Britain is allocated on the recommendation of DION, the Advisory Committee on Emigrant Welfare Services.

Grants in this area are given to agencies, principally in Britain, operating front line emergency services for emigrants, particularly those in younger age groups who run into problems and who might otherwise find themselves in difficulties. In brief, the grants allocated in 1988, were used to support the salaries of 21 professional staff in 13 agencies and to contribute to the running costs of two other agencies.

I am not in a position to give precise details on how the additional sum of £250,000 allocated to my Department for [885] emigrant welfare in 1989 will be spent as DÍON has not yet had the opportunity to consider the matter fully and make recommendations to me.

DÍON has intimated, however, that the increased funding will enable support to be extended to voluntary bodies intending to establish advice and counselling services for Irish emigrants in areas in Britain where no such facilities exist at present and to provide support for research and information projects on emigrants' accommodation and employment needs. In this connection, DÍON has arranged for advertisements to be placed in the Irish community press in the next few weeks featuring details of the new arrangements for grant assistance. These advertisements will invite voluntary bodies to apply for funding support and identify the priority activities and projects which will be considered for support.