Chuck Feeney to End Irish Grants

Feeney, top center, with Gerry Adams (left) and Bruce Morrison (bottom) in Northern Ireland during peace negotiations, December 17, 1997. (Photo: Crispin Rodwell)
Feeney, top center, with Gerry Adams (left) and Bruce Morrison (bottom) in Northern Ireland during peace negotiations, December 17, 1997. (Photo: Crispin Rodwell)

By Olivia O’Mahony, Editorial Assistant
October / November 2016

Irish American philanthropist and entrepreneur Chuck Feeney, who has been engaging in philanthropic projects across the globe for over thirty years, announced in August that his foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, will make its final grants in 2016, including those to Ireland.

84-year-old Feeney, deemed “the quiet giant of Irish philanthropy” by the Irish Examiner, has said that Atlantic Philanthropies is operating with a limited lifespan and will finish its work this year.

Feeney’s first Irish grant went to the educational services after a visit in the 1980s, when third-level institutions were desperately in need of funding. This was instrumental in the transformation of the University of Limerick, where the student body of 735 exploded to over 11,000. Since then, Feeney has invested over €1.1 billion in the Republic of Ireland, €563.7 million of which has gone towards education, healthcare, and heritage centers.

“I don’t think we’re going to see another Chuck Feeney here in the short term,” executive director of Philanthropy Ireland Eilis Murray told the Examiner. “We’re going to have to look to other solutions involving government, corporates and private donors to fill the gap.” ♦

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