Irish NGOs welcome the announcement of Joe McHugh TD as the new Minister of State for the Diaspora and Overseas Development Aid

19 may 2016

Dóchas- the Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations

Press Release

May 19 2016


Irish NGOs welcome the announcement of Joe McHugh TD as the new Minister of State for the Diaspora and Overseas Development Aid 

Dóchas- the Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations - today welcomes the announcement by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. of the appointment of Joe McHugh T.D. as Minister of State for the Diaspora and Overseas Development Aid.

Responding to the announcement Suzanne Keatinge, CEO of Dóchas said:  ‘As a network of NGOs working on global justice, we welcome today’s appointment and we look forward to engaging with Minister Joe McHugh and his department. This appointment reinforces the Government’s commitment to development and overseas aid.”

The Dóchas CEO outlined the challenges and opportunities ahead for the new Minister: “Ireland’s aid programme is known for its quality and effectiveness. It offers an exciting opportunity to show leadership and ambition on the global stage, to fight against poverty, inequality and climate change. But there are many urgent challenges ahead, including the unfolding tragedy of the refugee crisis, with its root causes in conflict in the Middle East and Africa; the devastating effects of climate change felt most urgently by the poorest communities in the world; and the growing inequality in our societies which is leaving the most marginalised behind. We are looking forward to working with the new Minister on these issues,” says Keatinge.  

Dóchas is a network of more than 60 non-governmental organisations working across the whole breadth of development, human rights and humanitarian issues in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and Ireland. The work of Irish NGOs is made possible due to the ongoing support of the Irish people, who have proven to be consistently generous and supportive of overseas aid and development.  

Dóchas welcomed the inclusion in the Programme for Partnership Government of a renewed commitment from Government to achieve the international target to spend 0.7% of GNI on official development assistance to finance this crucial work. Dóchas and its member organisations call for a tangible plan from the new Minister, as soon as possible, to show how this target will be achieved.

Dóchas also wishes to take this opportunity to thank Seán Sherlock TD, the outgoing Minister of State with special responsibility for Trade Promotion, Development and North South Co-Operation, for his dedicated service, and to wish him well in his future endeavours. During his tenure as Minister, Ireland played a leading role in co-facilitating the negotiations to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals – a transformative global roadmap to end extreme poverty and tackle climate change.

“We trust that Ireland will continue to play a leading role in ensuring that this transformative agenda becomes a reality,’ says Keatinge.  “It will demand a whole of government approach to grasp this opportunity for Ireland to make a lasting impact to improve the lives of people living on the margins of society, and create a sustainable future for all.”



Media Contact: For more information / to arrange interviews contact Naomi Linehan, Dóchas Communications Officer – e: / phone 086 1077079

Notes to the Editor:

  • Dochas is the Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations. It has a membership of over 60 NGOs. You can find out more about Dóchas and its work here:
  • For a full list of Dóchas members see:
  • The Sustainable Development Goals have particular significance for Ireland. The SDGs are 17 global goals which world leaders from 193 countries have signed up to. Ireland co-chaired the negotiation process to achieve these goals. For more information see: