***Clarification: This article has been amended from an article first published on July 16, 2013.
ON average every Irish person in England and Wales is receiving just under £12 annually in emigrant support from the Irish Government.
The figure is derived by dividing last year’s £6,250,727 Emigrant Support Programme (ESP) grants to both countries by the 531,087 people who ticked the White Irish box in the most recent Census in 2011.
When the data is compared and broken down into regions, London and its surrounding boroughs received 60 per cent of funding which totals more than £3.5 million.
At the other end of the scale, the region that received the least money was Wales with a total grant of £12,639 for just two organisations.
Census data shows that 14,086 people ticked the Irish box in the country — an average of 89 pence per person.
When contacted by The Irish Post to comment on the figures, the Federation of Irish Societies said: “A direct comparison between Census figures and funding does not always provide the full picture around the needs and the Census figures that will be more relevant will be around long term health and caring responsibilities.”
Chief executive Jennie McShannon said that while the total number of Irish people in Britain had fallen “needs remained higher”.
Commenting upon the figures for London and the imbalance with the rest of the country she explained that many of the organisations who applied for funding were based in the British capital and that “activity” on the ground was a key funding consideration for the annual programme regardless of region.
“London is a land of extremes,” she said. “Often it is where Irish people come first even if they head off elsewhere.”
She also said that many of the organisations were “operating beyond capacity.”
Each year through the Emigrant Support Programme the Irish Government gives money to Irish groups and projects in Britain.
Organisations helping older members of the community, heritage projects and those supporting new emigrants are encouraged to apply for the funding.
***Clarification: This article has been amended from an article first published on July 02, 2013.
The original article dealt with Emigrant Support Programme figures up to September 2012 and did not include additional funding support from the Irish Government which followed the original grant of £5.7m in the remaining months of 2012.
The Irish Post is happy to clarify and correct this matter.