List of Grantees

The Ireland Funds are strategically placed to ensure that grant recipients utilize resources efficiently. Our grant process ensures clear objectives with measurable results. We support vital work by determining the areas with most need and working with donors where their gifts can be most effective. Examples of some of the over 3000 projects we have assisted are below.


Music Generation

Make a donation to Music Generation
The American Ireland Fund

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The Ireland Funds in Ireland

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in EURO only.

In July 2009 The Ireland Funds announced an exciting partnership with the renowned Irish band U2 to establish a national music education program to help children and young people access music tuition in their local area. The €7m donation from U2 (€5m) and The Ireland Funds (€2m) was the largest ever single philanthropic donation to music education in Ireland in the history of the state.

Ireland is known for its rich musical history and contributions, yet historically less than 1% of Irish children received training in instrumental or vocal performance. U2 and The Ireland Funds and now bringing this training to young people in Ireland through an initiative known as Music Generation (

Today, the program is established in 12 areas of Ireland and thousands of children are receiving music tuition. This is also a huge boost to Ireland’s music industry as jobs are being made available to musicians, teachers and others to support the program.

In January 2013 the Irish Government announced that it would continue to support the philanthropically-funded pilot of Music Generation (Phase 1) on a long-term basis. This is a milestone that has assured the project’s future, which is now being co-funded on a 50/50 basis by national Government and local partnerships.

With the program active in South Dublin, Cork City, Clare, Laois, Louth, Mayo, Sligo, Wicklow, Carlow, Limerick City, Offaly and Westmeath, its reach has extended to over 35,000 children and young people each year. The Ireland Funds salute the Government’s decision to continue and further extend the program to every area of the country. It is a great endorsement of Music Generation and of the power of private philanthropy to seed and develop projects to the point where they are proven and ready for public support.

In September 2015, U2 gifted a further €2m to Music Generation through their iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Irish concerts to enable the expansion of the program into new areas of the country. U2’s The Edge said that Music Generation is “continuing to grow” and the donations would “bring us closer to achieving our ambition for every child and young person in Ireland to have access to music tuition”.

This was followed with an announcement by The Ireland Funds in November 2015 that it will donate an additional €1m. “The Ireland Funds are delighted to be supporting this flagship initiative and, together with U2, will also seek to raise additional support as part of our commitment to unlocking the musical talents of the next generation,” said Kieran McLoughlin, President and CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds.

In January 2016 the Irish government committed to sustainably co-fund this next phase of development of Music Generation into the future, together with local partners. And in May 2016, The Ireland Funds announced a $1m donation by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation towards Phase 2. The Ireland Funds invite supporters to be a part of this historic initiative to bring musical training to Ireland’s children. By making a gift, you will be giving the gift of music and ensuring that this next generation is a music generation.  website >

In the media

May 2016, Irish Central: re $1m donation by Stavros Niarchos Foundation

May 2016, Irish Independent: re $1m donation by Stavros Niarchos Foundation

May 2016, The Irish Times: re $1m donation by Stavros Niarchos Foundation

January 2016, Hotpress Magazine: re Government funding for Phase 2

November 20, 2015 ++ The Irish Times ++ U2 and the Ireland Funds donate €3m to State’s music programme

September  2015 ++ Irish Central ++ U2 to donate $2.2 million to Ireland’s national music education programme

September 9, 2015 ++ The Irish Times ++ How Music Works: Music Generation - the music programme that’s set to win big from U2’s Irish gigs

October 17, 2014 ++ RTE ++ Reporter Aisling Riordan meets young musicians from around the country who are involved in Music Generation.

August 2014 ++ Irish Central ++ U2 and Ireland Fund $10 million music program for schools to be permanent

August 2014 ++ Business & Leadership  ++ U2 and Ireland Funds’ philanthropic initiative set to become long-term and lasting part of Ireland’s national music education landscape

August 2014 -The - U2 and the Department of Education are teaming up to teach children music

August 2014 – Irish Independent - The Edge shares his secrets with our budding rock stars

Sept 2013 - Music Generation Carlow was featured on News2day yesterday on RTE2 television.
The children interviewed were great spokespeople for the work of Music Generation.

Jan 2013 - Newstalk: Dept of Education to fund music initiative for children

Jan 2013 - VIDEO - Newstalk: U2News - The Edge - "Music Generation" project

Jan 2013 - Irish Examiner: Education Department pledges to resume funding for music initiative

Oct 2012 - VIDEO - Music Generation

Oct 2012 - VIDEO - An RTE Clip on the work of Music Generation
The portion runs from 12:05 – 17:43

RTE Lyric FM documentary piece on Music Generation


President Bill Clinton at The Ireland Funds Conference

Courtesy of RTE © 2012


Download an expanded version of this story from Connect - the magazine of The Worldwide Ireland Funds Download PDF

The Department of Education has worked closely with Music Generation as it evolved and we are delighted to see that both U2 and The Ireland Funds continue to be involved in the programme. This initiative which began just six years ago is now a hugely successful programme that is transforming the landscape for music education in Ireland and we are delighted to be able to commit to the long term future of Phase 2.
- Former Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD


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