The Irish American Partnership, in the half-year ended June 30, disbursed $604,000 in education grants under its support program for science and technology education in Ireland, North and South. Currently, there are 100 students benefiting under the scholarship program.
In the same period, the partnership provided an additional $200,000 in cash funding to a variety of other ventures aimed at promoting job creation and entrepreneurial projects on the island of Ireland.
Joseph F. Leary, Jr., president of the partnership, in remarks made at the publication of the details of the half-year disbursements, said the partnership was unique among the several organizations which support Ireland.
"Conceived in Ireland and endorsed by Dáil Éireann, the organization is a non-profit, fund-raising effort with a membership that is broad-based across the United States," Leary said. "Led by Irish and American corporate executives and community leaders, we in the partnership are convinced that the focus which we place on economic development, job creation and education is the most effective way for Irish Americans to assist the leadership and people of Ireland."
The following is a selection of partnership programs in Ireland:
€ The Partnership Scholars Program: The partnership’s largest program, currently provides annual funding for 100 outstanding Irish college graduates seeking master’s degrees in business, science and technology. This initiative has, since its inception, enabled more than 400 of Ireland’s brightest graduates to conduct post-graduate research in Ireland. The scholars program, which is the largest master’s degree scholarship fund on the island, forms unique and valuable linkages between the universities and sponsoring companies.
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€ The Shankill Education Trust, Belfast: Partnership funds helped establish the trust, which provides home-based tutors, a summer school program, and financial aid to students in a deprived Loyalist area of Belfast where 85 percent of those over 16 years have no high school degree.
€ The Jeanie Johnston Project: The Partnership provided the first non-governmental grant to the Jeanie Johnston Project, a Famine commemoration effort involving the reconstruction of a "coffin ship." Employment training and job creation are integral aspects of the project, which will create 200 jobs for Irish youth during construction. Once completed, the ship will serve as a floating famine museum, sailing to North America in 2001 and returning to Tralee, Co. Kerry in 2003.