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Ireland pledges $50k in funding for New York community devastated by Hurricane Sandy

The Government funding is part of a $320,000 totbal to be provided to community projects in the areas most affected by Sandy.

Image: Mark Lennihan/AP/Press Association Images

MINISTER OF STATE Brian Hayes has travelled to the New York neighbourhood of Breezy Point today to announce Irish Government funding of $50,000 to help the regeneration project in the area.

Hayes will attend the reopening of a community centre, devastated by Superstorm Sandy last year, which is used by 350 young people who are involved in athletics programmes in the area. Now fully refurbished, the centre’s reopening will mean that the Breezy Point youth athletics programme can be restarted immediately.

The funding of $50,000 is part of a total of $320,000 (€250,000) to be provided to assist Irish-American communities in New York and New Jersey most affected by the natural disaster. The Irish Government has already allocated funding of $60,000, which was dispersed equally between the three Irish Centres in New York – the Aisling, Emerald Isle & New York Centres to assist their pro-active response to the impact of Sandy. The Centres’ support has ranged from acting as co-ordinators for the distribution of clothes and food as well as outreach initiatives to people in the various locations.

Speaking at Breezy Point today, Hayes said:

Sometimes it is in adversity that we see the very best of people, and the response of the community to support the recovery efforts in the areas most impacted by Sandy, has been hugely impressive. The two ‘Irish Days of Action’ organised by the Consulate in the immediate aftermath of Sandy saw over 1,500 people travel out to the Rockaways and other areas to lend a hand in the clean up and recovery efforts. Since then, the focus has moved to rebuilding the community infrastructure.

He added that he hoped the funding and support of the Irish Government for community projects will help in “a practical and meaningful way.”

The Minister also spoke of his visit on Friday to the Irish Arts Centre in New York where, the Office of Public Works in Ireland has been lending its considerable expertise in architectural design for a number of years to the Arts Centre for its exciting project of the development of a new purpose-built Centre on a site donated by the City of New York

The Office of Public Works has noted that the emergency funding to Irish voluntary organisations is being made available from within existing resources in the budget of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and complements the work already being undertaken by the Consulate General in New York, which cooperates closely with the Irish community organisations concerned.

Ireland pledges $50k in funding for New York community devastated by Hurricane Sandy
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