Saturday 3 December 2016

U2's Adam Clayton praises benefactor's €880k gift to young Irish people for music education

Geraldine Gittens

Published 06/05/2016 | 08:14

Young musicians from Music Generation, Ireland's national music program, speak with Kieran McLoughlin, president and CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds (second from left), U2's Adam Clayton, and John Fitzpatrick, chairman of The American Ireland Fund (right), during The American Ireland Fund New York Dinner Gala on May 5, 2016 in New York City. Photo: Michael Nagle
Young musicians from Music Generation, Ireland's national music program, speak with Kieran McLoughlin, president and CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds (second from left), U2's Adam Clayton, and John Fitzpatrick, chairman of The American Ireland Fund (right), during The American Ireland Fund New York Dinner Gala on May 5, 2016 in New York City. Photo: Michael Nagle

U2’s bass guitarist Adam Clayton is in New York this week to celebrate a $1 million (€880,000) gift to young Irish people interested in music education.

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Clayton (56) last night celebrated the achievements of Music Generation at the 41st Annual American Ireland Fund New York Dinner Gala.

The event raised $2.7 million (€2.36m) in total for hundreds of Irish charities and causes.

Clayton said: “We in U2 benefited from access to musical education – it transformed our lives.”

“We want the same opportunities for young people across Ireland.  Music Generation is achieving this beyond anyone’s imagination.”

“We are delighted that The Ireland Funds have joined us in committing to extending the programme.  The news tonight that the Stavros Niarchos Foundation will make a gift of $1 million is a huge boost and will benefit young people across Ireland.”

The Music Generation program was first launched in the US at The American Ireland Fund New York Dinner Gala in 2010.

It is Ireland’s National Music Education Program which provides access to high quality, subsidized performance music education to children and young people.

Initiated by Music Network, Music Generation is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, The Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

U2 and The Ireland Funds gifted $10m (€8.76m) in 2010 to launch the initiative. Recently they announced they were donating a further $3.5m (€3.07m) to the program to develop its next phase.

Music Generation is established in 12 areas of Ireland, providing access to music education for some 35,000 children and young people annually and creating 350 employment opportunities.

An additional $1 million gift to Music Generation from The Stavros Niarchos Foundation was also announced last night.

Members of the Stavros Niarchos family attended the gala along with several young musicians who have benefited from Music Generation attended the Gala and performed moving pieces using traditional Irish instruments.

“Tonight’s dinner proves the enduring and generous commitment of the diaspora to Ireland,” said Kieran McLoughlin, President & CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds. 

“Our supporters personify the spirit of philanthropy which is providing private resources for the public good.  The Dinner is a demonstration of how affection for Ireland is translated into real and substantial support.”

“I am absolutely delighted to see that tonight’s dinner has been such a huge success,” said John Fitzpatrick, Chairman of The American Ireland Fund. “Our leadership, committed members and supportive guests always seem to come together to champion great causes in Ireland with incredible passion and generosity.  They really understand that this is all about making a difference in people’s lives.”

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