London Irish Centre to receive €1.15m from Irish Government for redevelopment

Premises in Camden to be redeveloped to better serve ‘diverse needs’ of Irish community

The London Irish Centre is to receive £1 million (€1.15m) from the Irish Government to redevelop its premises in the city.

The centre, which opened in Camden in 1955 to support newly arrived Irish emigrants, has grown over seven decades to become a significant social and cultural venue for Irish people of all ages in London.

A fundraising campaign was launched by the centre last year to develop their existing building into a “world class facility”.

"The current facility has a great heart and plays a hugely important role for Irish diaspora in London, as well as the new audiences it attracts for its strong and diverse arts programme," said Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan.


Announcing the funding in the Barbican in London, at an event to mark the year-long Culture Ireland GB18 programme, Ms Madigan said the investment recognised the need for Ireland to "maintain and build on our strong cultural relations with Britain".

“The new building will accommodate 21st century needs and reflect the national self-confidence Ireland possesses and our shared desire that we be ambitious in promoting the interests of Ireland on the world stage.”

Minister of State for the Diaspora, Ciarán Cannon, said the new building would allow the London Irish Centre to “continue to serve the diverse needs of London’s Irish community”, particularly its “most vulnerable members”, in the years to come.

The funding is part of the Government’s Global Ireland 2025 initiative, to increase Ireland’s global footprint through culture.

The aim is to make the London Irish Centre a “flagship Irish cultural centre”, alongside the Irish Arts Center in New York and the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris. It will also complement the work of other community organisations in London who are very active in promoting Irish arts and culture.

Ciara Kenny

Ciara Kenny

Ciara Kenny, founding editor of Irish Times Abroad, a section for Irish-connected people around the world, is Editor of the Irish Times Magazine