Dáil Éireann - Volume 451 - 04 April, 1995

Written Answers. - Famine Commemoration.

65. Mr. M. Kitt asked the Taoiseach if his attention has been drawn to the proposal by Trócaire to provide funding to commemorate the Great Famine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6759/95]

The Taoiseach: A committee has been established, chaired by Minister of State, Deputy Avril Doyle, with a budget of £250,000 to commemorate the Great Famine. The committee has been meeting fortnightly and hopes to be in a position very soon to make recommendations as to how best the Government should commemorate the Great Famine.

Trócaire has submitted an initial proposal to the Minister of State which will be considered on receipt of further details. The committee is already considering ways of using part of its funds for relief and preventative projects in the Third World.

It is worth bearing in mind that, in this year in which we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of the blight which caused the Great Famine, the Irish aid programme is at its highest ever at £89 million. It includes a special fund of £5 million for emergency relief and £2.5 million for rehabilitation programmes to break the cycle of food shortages.

In addition, to mark the anniversary of the Great Famine, the Minister for Finance also introduced, tax relief in the budget, for donations by individuals to designated Third World charities.