Global Irish philanthropists respond to campaign to help Ireland's charities
A campaign to raise €70m (£63m) by 2014 for Ireland’s charities from philanthropists across the world who have Irish connections is set to reach its target ahead of time. The Ireland Funds charitable foundation has already hit the €50m (£45m) mark.
Kieran McLoughlin, president and CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds, said: "The generosity of our donors is a remarkable testament to the care and concern of the extended Irish family. To be so far ahead of our target at the midpoint of the campaign is very encouraging. It is also wonderful that Irish donors are stepping up and playing their part".
The foundation was set up in 1976 by Dan Rooney, now US Ambassador to Ireland, and businessman Sir Anthony O’Reilly. It distributes money to charitable organisations across Ireland, including Habitat for Humanity, the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, Samaritans and Barnardo’s. Last year it distributed €28m (£25m) to projects across Ireland.
Key philanthropists who have donated to the foundation include, Loretta Brennan Glucksman, who donated €2.1m (£1.8m) and George and Angela Moore, who gave €3.5m (£3.16m). Brennan Glucksman grew up in Pennsylvania in an Irish community. Both her sets of grandparents had emigrated from Ireland to America. Her second marriage was to a New York financier, Lew Glucksman, who had a strong interest in Irish literature. She travelled with him to Ireland for the first time and this started their joint interest in funding projects in the country. She is now president of the Ireland Funds.