Minister Harris announces additional funding for Washington Ireland Program (WIP) on 30th anniversary during visit to US

Washington, D.C.  – Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, TD has announced additional funding for the Washington Ireland Program while celebrating program’s 30th anniversary in Washington. 

The Minister, who is in Washington as part of a week-long trade mission, announced an additional €50,000 in funding for the prestigious program. 

Speaking at a breakfast reception, Minister Harris said: 

“I’m delighted to be here today to celebrate the magnificent work done by the Washington Ireland Program since its inception in 1995. 

“Today I am announcing extra funding for the program. This funding will go towards driving to objectives of the program which provide young students from each corner of Ireland with huge educational opportunity in a capital steeped in political history and significance. 

“In the past 30 years the program has made a significant contribution in preparing future generations to carry out important roles in leadership and in building and maintaining good working relationships between Northern Ireland and Ireland. 

The Minister continued: 

“Following the restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive last week, WIP’s vision for a peaceful Northern Ireland and Ireland, promoted through a network of leaders North and South who can work together to build relationships across diverse communities is more important and relevant now than ever. It is a key piece of a complex jigsaw to create and foster a positive environment to work on a cross-community basis. 

“The additional funding recognises the work and educational opportunities offered by the program and I hope it will be of benefit to many in the class of 2024.” 

Speaking following the announcement, Nicola Skelly, Executive Director of Washington Ireland Program, said: 

“The Washington Ireland Program welcome the announcement from Minister Harris on the increase in support for our Emerging Leaders program as we celebrate our 30th anniversary. The Irish government has been the longest standing supporter of WIP and has enabled us to develop future leaders from across the island of Ireland. With this support, we can continue to develop young people to become the change-makers and leaders of tomorrow, delivering on the business of peacebuilding and public service each day” 

Photo Caption: L – R: Nicola Skelly, Susie Hoffman, Minister Simon Harris, Representative Mary Gay Scanlon, Ambassador Byrne Nason, George Shevlin and Andrew Elliot  pictured at the WIP Reception for Minister Harris in Washington DC in February 2024.

The Washington Ireland Program supports, inspires, and develops leaders from a wide range of communities and backgrounds who are committed to building a future of peace and prosperity for Northern Ireland and Ireland.

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