Testimonials

Project Testimonials | VIP Testimonials | Donor Testimonials

Project Testimonials

Project Testimonials

“Thanks in no small part to the enduring support of The American Ireland Fund and its dedicated members, Irish Arts Center is expanding its reach and impact like never before. ” - Aidan Connolly, Executive Director of the Irish Arts Center

“Thanks to the ongoing support from The Ireland Funds, the Pushkin Trust has been enabled to maintain both its Schools’ Programme and its Partners in Education Programme in both parts of Ireland. Even in this year of financial uncertainty for many, The Ireland Funds’ commitment to our essential work with children and educators has provided us with a singular endorsement that we value deeply. ” - Alan Boyd, The Pushkin Trust

“The ultimate dream is that there would be peace & reconciliation in Northern Ireland, and without organizations like The Ireland Funds that would be a difficult journey. ” - Angila Chada, Springboard

“The grant that came from The Ireland Funds made a significant difference to the services we provide here in the city. Thanks to that funding, we have a community worker who is able to go out into three new communities to begin additional Lunch Clubs. ” - Anne Kenny, COPE Galway

“Thanks to The Ireland Funds, we have continued our programs for children and even improved them. We’ve been able to offer more workshops as a direct result from the grant we received. It has made all the difference.” - Bairbre Ann Harkin, Education Curator at the Butler Gallery

“The Ireland Funds came to see us here in Galway and talk to the cast about the production. We received a key grant. Sanctuary simply would not have happened without that initial funding. The second round of funding then allowed us to travel to Dublin and showcase this production at the Dublin Fringe Festival. Sanctuary tackles a bold and brave subject matter, yet The Ireland Funds got it.” - Blue Teapot Theatre Director Petal Pilley

“The people, the culture and the heritage are what make us special. We have 6,000 years of history and you can just walk out into it and immerse yourself in it. The Ireland Funds give us a sense of belief in what we do. The support shows us that what we’re doing is valued by people beyond the Burren. With these resources, we are going to realize the potential of this place. ” - Brendan Dunford, the Burrenbeo Trust

“We are really grateful to The Ireland Funds. The support has made a huge difference to us. The Ireland Funds have given us money that we can plan with and that becomes a safety net. For the people that come to eat, it means that there will always be something there for them. ” - Caitriona Twomey, Cork Penny Dinners volunteer

“That early support from The Ireland Funds was absolutely fantastic; the Ireland Funds simply kept us going and allowed us to direct the money where it was needed most.” - Charles Roarty, Energy Action

“Through The American Ireland Fund, we have discovered ways to get around walls and have brought together thousands of children in the process.” - Dave Cullen, PeacePlayers Northern Ireland

“The support of The American Ireland Fund will help us to optimise the benefit of the Chester Beatty gift to Ireland and the world.” - Dr Michael Ryan, Chester Beatty Library

“It is almost analogous to the emigrant experience of the Irish who went to America. It is in the Irish DNA to simply help the guy behind you.” - Eamonn Cregan, the Director of Corporate Affairs at the University of Limerick

“The Ireland Funds assisted us early on by saying "We want to do something for Limerick". In the end, I think it will be philanthropy creating a confluence of interest and aspiration, that will make the difference.” - Eamonn Cregan, the Director of Corporate Affairs at the University of Limerick

“Funding from The Ireland Funds hasn’t just purchased equipment. It has kept kids off the street here. It’s been massively helpful and has really allowed us to move forward ” - Eanes Keenan, Trainer at the Ardoyne Holy Cross Boxing Club in Northern Ireland

“With the current economic crisis in Ireland, The Ireland Funds have provided Esker ABC with an extraordinary opportunity to change the lives and outlook of these young Irish people. The work that The Ireland Funds perform without looking for recognition in all aspects of Irish life is one of the reasons that these important activities can take place. ” - Ed Griffin, Secretary of the Esker Amateur Boxing Club

“When the economy is not good, it’s difficult to give to programs like this. The grant from The Ireland Funds is a real vote of confidence. It will allow us to carry out valuable research to measure the progress that employees make during their time with Speedpak and identify which interventions are most effective.” - Edel Moloney, Change and Development Manager at Speedpak

“The Ireland Funds have been hugely important to the Ark. It hasn't been just about the money, though the money really matters. The support of The Ireland Funds is philosophical. It is an absolute energetic support that stands for the creative life, for children and their potential. It is the act of coming alongside and standing with us. We are constantly reinterpreting culture and The Ireland Funds are part of that journey.” - Eina McHugh, The Ark

“If it hadn't been for the faith in The Ireland Funds in what we are doing then we wouldn't have kept going - thank you.” - Jack Kelly, Energy Action

“Our attitude towards ourselves has changed dramatically because of The Ireland Funds. Before we saw ourselves as a charity. We don't see ourselves as a charity anymore. We like to ask people to invest. ” - Joan Freeman, Pieta House

“"One of those supporters, at a key time, was The Ireland Funds. Their head and heart were already open. They understood how community transformation could be, at once, daringly simple and infuriatingly complex. A true friend is one who accepts you for how you are made, challenges you when you need it and is there for you at the crucial moments. The Ireland Funds were good friends."” - Joe Donohue, Fatima Groups United

“When we got the call to say we’d been approved, it was very exciting,” says Joe. “The Ireland Funds have now given us funding for equipment on two occasions. Shovels, spades, lawnmowers, a greenhouse….and you can see the fruits of this labor all around you.”” - Joe Mason, CEO of WALK

“We were able to go to supporters and say ‘We have The Ireland Funds helping us’ and that was a great start. But more importantly, The Ireland Funds have stayed with us and allowed us to connect with the broader network so we can sustain and grow. What I saw through our work with The Ireland Funds was it wasn’t about the organization, it was about the cause. They had an immediate and passionate connection to what we are representing here which is improving the lives of sick children and their families in Ireland. That is the support we received in spades from The Ireland Funds.” - Joe Quinsey, Chief Executive of The Children’s Medical & Research Foundation

“It is great recognition for us to receive a grant from The Ireland Funds. We know of the wider network behind them and it’s important to us to raise our visibility. Our primary goal is to be accessible to our clients and offer early intervention.” - Krystian Fikert, Founder and CEO of MyMind

“The support from The Ireland Funds has literally made it possible for us to survive.” - Margo Dolan, Founding Director of The Ballinglen Art Foundation

“We’ve been working with The Ireland Funds over the last four years. We’re hugely grateful because it is changing young people’s lives. The Grant Round has helped us reach over 3,000 young people and train over 100 additional educators. The Grant Round has also helped us develop our curriculum across all of Ireland, North and South. Not only have The Ireland Funds given us money, they’ve given us their time.” - Maria Doherty, NFTE Program Manager

“Support from The Ireland Funds has meant we can sustain our growth throughout the country. Funding has made a real difference. It says that people see the value of our project and its impact. ” - Mary Nally, Third Age/Fáilte Isteach

“The Ireland Funds understood that for a young charity like Making Connections, it can be a real difficulty to get noticed. We received our first funding through their Grant Round in 2012 which was followed by a Donor Advised Gift in 2013 which made a big difference to us. It was a crucial moment because we were moving into the winter months with a long list of older people hoping for a volunteer. The funding allowed us to meet this need of recruiting, training and supporting volunteers.”” - Mary O’Donoghue, Making Connections

“The Ireland Funds didn’t just give us that one big injection of sponsorship support back in 2003. They came back to us with funding again and again to show us they recognized the importance of keeping the program going. We are eternally grateful” - Matt English, CEO of Special Olympics Ireland

“The Ireland Funds visited us in May and now we are delighted that they have decided to support our work with a very generous donation. "This significant donation will greatly assist in funding the work at the centre in what are clearly very challenging times for the Irish health service. I would like to publicly thank The Ireland Funds for their support."” - Michael Greene, CRY

“Thanks to the funding we have received from The Ireland Funds we have been able to continue to recruit more volunteers in the project. In particular, the Youth Buddies project has benefited greatly from The Ireland Funds grants. Without help like this, our level of activities would be incredibly limited.” - Michelle Reilly, Leisure Buddies Coordinator

“The Ireland Funds fuel a vital part of our regeneration. It is difficult to find that kind of social-entrepreneurial companionship which is built on mutual respect and admiration. So, on behalf of Fatima Mansions in Dublin, a huge thank you to the silent and not-so-silent partners and supporters of the Funds. You are the people who regenerate possibility itself.” - Niall O'Baoill, Fatima Groups United

“The funding received from The American Ireland Fund has not only contributed to the cost of programs for seniors here at the Aisling Irish Community Center, but has helped us to further the outreach work that we do in the elderly Irish community here in New York.” - Orla Kelleher, Aisling Irish Community Centre

“The Ireland Funds...are supporting 'Access Programs' at several universities through out Ireland that enable disadvantaged students to pursue their dreams of third level education. One of the things we say to our donors is that the cost of a scholarship is €2,000 per student per year. And that seems quite low particularly from an American perspective. But for many of these families, it isn't just about the money. These are first generation kids going to university and their families are embarking on a real cultural shift.” - Patrick McDermott, DCU Educational Trust

“Over the years The American Ireland Fund has assisted our youth club in running many programmes that quite simply could not have been run without such assistance. These include homework classes, drug awareness programmes, summer camps, and our youth theatre group which would have closed down were it not for the AIF.” - Paul Brady, Belvedere Youth Club

“The American Ireland Fund's ongoing financial support is important to the development and growth of integrated education in Northern Ireland.” - Paul Caskey, Integrated Education Fund

“The Ireland Funds helped us establish our dedicated service for children and adolescents across the country. We have made a real difference and the funding we have received from The Ireland Funds has saved lives.” - Paul Kelly, Console

“Since John and The American Ireland Fund got involved with our club it has given everyone concerned a magnificent boost, to think that a business man from New York would seek to help us build a brighter future for our young children is just incredible. Everyone in O’Hanlon Park Boxing Club will be eternally grateful to John Fitzpatrick and The American Ireland Fund. ” - Paul Moore, O‘Hanlon Park Amateur Boxing and Fitness Club

“Thanks to The Ireland Funds grant we have been able to impact over a thousand children. ” - Paula Madden, Coordinator of the Yellow Flag Programme

“Part of the vision that drives me on is that the kids I am working with might someday have families of their own and will live next door to each other. And their own kids might mix and mingle someday without that being seen as something strange or unusual. Part of what I’m trying to do with the help of The American Ireland Fund is to give these young guys an alternative vision of the future. Of something that might be possible that they never considered.” - Rev. Bill Shaw of 174 Trust

“ The Ireland Funds sponsored the 2003 Special Olympics Games, but subsequently they also provided a grant to help us develop a school enrichment program. Thanks to that grant, school children today are educated about people with intellectual disabilities. It's now part of the Irish educational curriculum. The program has been widely appreciated by the educational community and is in all 3.200 primary schools across Ireland. It never would have happened without the help of The Ireland Funds.” - Sahra O'Neill, Special Olympics Ireland

“Projects like this are very serious undertakings. In the past, this sort of activity happened behind the scenes of a museum. But today we are bringing it forward to the public, we’re making films about it, we’re talking about it, we're sharing it. One of the most important aspects of this conservation treatment is the support of The Ireland Funds and Bank of America. Without that support, I don't think we would have been able to approach it in quite the same way and it would have taken much longer. We’re making great progress. ” - Sean Rainbird, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland

“Not only has The American Ireland Fund supported us each and every year with a grant, but they have also provided a much needed platform for us tell our story and connected us with the most generous Irish-Americans.” - Sean Tuohey, PeacePlayers Northern Ireland

“In introducing our work to potential supporters in the United States, we in the Irish Hospice Foundation are immensely fortunate to have benefited from the expertise and the continuing goodwill of The American Ireland Fund. Their expertise helped us develop and host a launch event in NYC, secured funding for our programme and introduced us to a range of contacts and advice.” - Sharon Foley, CEO, Irish Hospice Foundation

“I just learned that The Ark will receive a grant from The Ireland Funds' Promising Ireland Campaign towards our music programme this summer. I just wanted to let you know how truly grateful we are - this is wonderful news for the work and most importantly, for the hundreds of children and families who will be engaged and directly impacted through the project.” - Tanya Allen, The Ark

“We approached The Ireland Funds about supporting us because it was such a good fit with what The Ireland Funds do: it’s about access, education, developing the whole child to their whole potential.” - Teenagh Cunningham, Baboró BEAST

“A project like this is unlike anything the club has undertaken in the past and the grant from The Ireland Funds has helped immensely. The Ireland Funds' support even opens doors to other possible funding organizations. Funding from The Ireland Funds gives us a level of respect and status because of their rigid review process before giving money.” - Tom Kenny, Our Lady's Boys' Club

“We’re very fortunate to have organizations like The Ireland Funds that are willing to fund something like this. This is a big centre and you can really see the changes in families since the demise of the Celtic Tiger. Children are coming in with more behavioral issues because of stress at home and my role allows me to intervene early and help them get the necessary services. ” - Tracy, Project Worker at Darndale Belcamp Integrated Childcare Services

“Historically, there hasn’t been a tradition of private philanthropy in Ireland. But it’s organizations like The Ireland Funds that have taken the lead. Their role has been absolutely vital to philanthropy here. ” - Trevor White, Founder of The Little Museum of Dublin

Top of page

VIP Testimonials

VIP Testimonials

“…Nor could we do much in many instances without the support of The Ireland Funds. It is not just support, it is understanding, it is being, it is love. Because Ireland’s story is your story. Therefore it is America’s story. For centuries the Irish came here in every generation. Today, you live the future they dreamed of.” - An Taoiseach Enda Kenny at The American Ireland Fund National Gala 2014 in Washington, DC

“Even if the era of the Celtic Tiger is over, something new is being born. It will be bigger and better if it is done right. The government’s job is to try to help the private sector, and organizations like The American Ireland Fund, work together to beat the historical clock. Ireland has one of the best education systems in the world, one of the best developed information technology systems, a good business climate…and the youngest workforce in Europe.  ” - Bill Clinton, Former US President

“I want to thank The American Ireland Fund for what you have done since the seventies for our country ..... it has truly been transformative.” - Bono

“I want to thank The American Ireland Fund for effectively showing the way forward. To you, peace and reconciliation, integrated education, community development and the celebration of arts and culture aren't just benign words, but tangible projects and programs. ” - Chris Smith, US Representative

“It strikes me that it was very important for me to say that what you do matters, it truly truly matters, that your deeds are struck with an axe and that they give off sparks, you do not know where the sparks will land but they do in fact land.” - Colum McCann, 39th AWB Vincent AIF Literary Award Winner

“The Ireland Funds have worked over many years with successive governments building successful strategic partnerships within the wider global Irish family. What sets you apart is your generosity, generosity of time and of leadership especially when times are tough and needs are at their greatest......You have been with us together through our long journey to peace and your commitment to Ireland has been long and steadfast” - Eamon Gilmore, An Tainaiste

“Music Generation is a great example of how when we put our heads together we can deliver really exciting education programmes in new and innovative ways. The programme, in a relatively short time, has achieved a great deal. Over 5,000 children and
young people have participated in the many programmes available throughout the country. I want, in particular, to acknowledge our philanthropic donors, U2 and The Ireland Funds, and also our diverse range of local partners including local Authorities, VECs, Higher Education Institutes, parents, musicians and schools. ” - Education Minister Ruairi Quinn

“I have told you in the past about the magnificent work this, the largest organisation helping Ireland in the world, does for charities both here and abroad. The Ireland Funds remain a resource of incomparable benefit to Ireland...” - Enda Kenny, An Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland

“If I were to sing tonight, it would certainly be a song of gratitude to The American Ireland Fund: one of the great international organizations in this world.” - Governor Martin O'Malley

“I have heard from leaders of several countries who have studied not only what happened in Northern Ireland but what happened in the Irish American community to enable it. And one of the ways that worked was through this Fund. And so taking the experience of this Fund and the Irish American community, I helped to celebrate the launch of the American Pakistan Foundation. And efforts are now underway to engage communities in America with ties to Mexico, Haiti, Kenya, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and other countries. These communities of the diaspora fill a critical niche. We want to begin to support them to do what the Irish American Community has done: to reach back, to make contributions, and to assist on the road to peace. So I'm delighted to announce that the State Department will help spread the model of The American Ireland Fund through a conference we will hold later this year to share best practices and smart ideas for engaging global diaspora communities.... thanks to The American Ireland Fund, we all have a chance to contribute. ” - Hillary Clinton

“I'm so grateful to not only The American Ireland Fund but all of the Funds around the world that do so much to promote the Irish culture and create more understanding and connections among people.” - Hillary Rodham Clinton, US Secretary of State

“Through programmes sponsored by The American Ireland Fund more people can look to the future, a future filled with hope.” - Liam Neeson

“The American Ireland Fund basically fund and support efforts in Ireland towards reconcilliation, the arts, culture, education and they have being doing that consistantly..... their range is extraordinary” - Liam Neeson

“Throughout its history, The Ireland Funds have been an unfaltering supportive partner on the long, slow, sometimes frustrating and often arduous journey towards peace. Along the way, many brave steps were taken and much generous support given. As an organisation, you have made an incredible contribution to bringing enduring peace and stability to the island of Ireland. Your involvement extends today far beyond the peace process to a broad range of worthy projects that seek to tackle disadvantage, promote arts and culture, advance education and promote community development throughout the island of Ireland. By bringing together a huge network of committed people with a genuine passion for Ireland, you have gathered a momentum and a meitheal which has nudged the trajectory of history away from the dark of dysfunction and into the light of hope.” - Mary McAleese, former President of Ireland

“It is entirely fitting that the wonderful network of care that is the Funds should evolve into an international philanthropic force of good which harnesses the very best of the character of the spirit and care of the global Irish family and its many good friends. ” - Mary McAleese, former President of Ireland

“Boston is home to the Irish and has been for generations. This week we remember with pride the Irish son of Boston who became President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy whose young life and brilliance was taken so tragically fifty years ago this week. The Irish pride he generated and the confidence we feel once again with the election of Mayor Marty Walsh. He speaks Gaelic, the language of his immigrant parents and our hearts soar with pride for we know that this is an outward sign of that other language the Boston Irish use, the language of care for one another and care for Ireland. That care is expressed in many different ways but none more powerful than in the existence and persistence of The American Ireland Fund. The hard-earned dollars of hard working American Irish and their friends have been put to life-changing, history altering use. They have helped to ‘fill the centuries arrears’ forging reconciliation between the estranged communities in Ireland, one heart at a time. We have peace now, we have hope in the future now, we have a roadmap to that future. That is thanks to the people who turned out tonight and on all the past nights for the Boston Irish's legendary fundraising dinner. We can only repay them by using this peace well and that please God we will do.” - Mary McAleese, Former President of Ireland, at the 2013 Boston Gala

“I am here to say thank you above all else to The Ireland Funds for assisting Ireland at such a difficult time. Since its founding over 36 years ago, The American Ireland Fund has become one of the most successful and important diaspora and philanthropic organisations in the world. The scale and reach of tonight’s gathering is a powerful demonstration of this achievement as well as the excellence of both the projects assisted by you and the quality of their delivery. As somebody living in Ireland, I am so moved to see the actual effect of these projects on the ground and their transforming capacity in the lives of so many in Ireland. The projects assisted by you are so important to us and I congratulate the Fund in particular for the success of Promising Ireland Campaign – a promise that has not only been kept, but delivered well ahead of schedule. ” - Michael D. Higgins – President of Ireland - The 2012 NY Dinner Gala

“The umbrella that is provided by The Ireland Fund cannot be duplicated, small organisations cannot themselves raise money. You can be sure that the people who are dedicated, far more dedicated than I am to the actual application of these funds are actually going to deliver real prospects and some sort of happy future for people often at the end of their lives. ” - Peter Sutherland, Chairman of The Ireland Fund of Great Britain

“The American Ireland Fund is a further exemplar of those values of openness, generosity and hospitality. You are recognised as one of the most dynamic and successful diaspora and philanthropic organisations in the world. We are proud of the work you do and thank you for doing it. It is making a real difference to the lives of people on the ground, many of whom are still feeling the effects of the financial crisis which afflicted us in recent years. I want you to know that your work is deeply appreciated at home in Ireland. ” - President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins in Chicago 2014

“The highest levels of scientific investigation and the best teaching experience require not only the greatest minds but the best facilities. With the vision of the former UCD President, Dr Hugh Brady supported by government, corporate partners, leading alumni, including the late George Moore & Angela Moore and The Ireland Funds, UCD now boasts the single most impressive scientific infrastructure on the national landscape. UCD would like to thank and acknowledge The Ireland Funds who have enabled the extraordinary philanthropy which is transforming Science at UCD.” - Professor Joe Carty, Dean of Science, University College Dublin

“The American Ireland Fund has done very important work for almost thirty years. From its integrated schools program to the Omagh Community House, from the community development programs to funding for the arts, you inspire all friends of Ireland with your work today and your vision of tomorrow.” - Senator John McCain

“As a band, we believe music tuition should be available to anyone who wants it, whatever their background. We want to help to make this happen for Ireland’s children and young people - our ‘music generation’ of the future. We hope that Music Generation will inspire Ireland’s young musicians, who might not otherwise get access to such valuable teaching. We are delighted to see the progress of Music Generation and to be involved in this much-needed initiative for Ireland. ” - U2: Adam, Bono, Larry & The Edge

“The American Ireland Fund represents some of the most significant leadership in the Irish American community in this country and around the world. It is remarkable what The Ireland Funds have done. Worldwide, they are in twelve countries and collectively have raised nearly half a billion dollars. Their hard work and commitment supports a remarkable range of causes and projects across the Republic of Ireland, the Irish diaspora and in Northern Ireland. More importantly, The Ireland Funds have continued to push for real reconciliation between Protestants and Catholics envisioned by the Good Friday Agreement.” - Vice President Joe Biden at The American Ireland Fund National Gala 2014 in Washington, DC

Top of page

Donor Testimonials

Donor Testimonials

“I think now Irish America is going to have a critical role to play in Ireland's economic recovery. The good news is that the framework is already there. The American Ireland Fund has been operating for 35 years. It's the best organization of its kind in the world and is in the late stages of a fundraising campaign that will raise $140 Million. But it's not just about the money. Irish universities, Irish entrepreneurs and Irish companies trying to access the American market need guidance and advice. I know many people in this room who are very generous with their time in these efforts, and I'd encourage the rest of you to get involved. You'll be surprised how enjoyable it is.  ” - Adrian Jones, Donor

“The American Ireland Fund provides no greater way for me to continuously show my lifelong appreciation and thanks to the country of Ireland for all the great people they have developed and let immigrate to the US to help make us such a great country. ” - Fran Van Kirk, Donor

“[The Ireland Funds] combine several elements in a way that make them a distinctive leading force in philanthropy in Ireland. They operate on all island basis. They have a well-established track record for enlightening grant-making... They have a proven ability to identify and support new and imaginative projects. They have significant status as a result of having a worldwide network of eminent and distinguished supporters. All of these factors combined mean that the Funds are uniquely well-qualified to continue to play a leading and much needed role in promoting peace, culture and charity in Ireland. ” - Hugh Frazer, Donor

“My parents were a tremendous influence on me and I wanted to do something to make sure they would always be remembered. Through The American Ireland Fund, I honor them by supporting the work of the Corrymeela Community and Barretstown Camp, advancing two causes that were important to them: peace and children.” - John Fitzpatrick, Donor

“My giving to projects in Ireland has nothing to do with need. In times of plenty and great wealth, need persists. My philanthropy is prompted by a wish to give back and a desire to see Ireland reach her full potential. The Ireland Funds have been a major focal point for the Irish diaspora to come together, reconnect with their heritage and support good work at home.” - John Ryan, Donor

“The American Ireland Fund is a tremendous organization with great people and leadership. They have set a worldwide example for countries to engage and reengage the diaspora. There is a sense of purpose and camaraderie that is rare for any organization.” - Kevin Curley, Donor

“This campaign is our call to action and reinforces our abiding commitment to the island of Ireland as a place and a people that hold great promise for the future. Needs are greater today and so the benchmark of our response must also be greater. The Worldwide Ireland Funds have represented the generosity and goodwill of the Irish diaspora and the Irish themselves... ” - Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Chairman Emeritus of The American Ireland Fund

“We do this because there is a pull to Ireland like no other. It is like an emotional umbilical cord. It brings us back, and it keeps us close. ” - Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Chairman Emeritus of The American Ireland Fund

“The Ireland Funds involvement has been so helpful to our group, the management and experience they have gives a stamp of approval to our work and provides a structure we would not have otherwise.” - Mary Claire Markey, member of the Core Giving Circle

Top of page