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Inside Irish Aid: The Impulse to Help

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Inside Irish Aid: The Impulse to Help

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Compelling account of the Irish Aid programme for aid to the developing world


Inside Irish Aid describes how Ireland’s foreign aid programme began from small beginnings in the 1970s with a budget of £1 million and grew to a budget of €920 million in 2008 when Ireland was the sixth largest donor per head in the world.

The book shows that during the years of economic prosperity Ireland did not lose sight of its traditional concern for the poor people of the world, particularly in Africa. The work of charities such as Concern, GOAL and Trocaire is well known but their combined budgets are only a fraction of what the Government spends on development aid.

Written by Ronan Murphy, who was Director General of Irish Aid for eight years, the book draws on extensive research into the often controversial issue of government aid, and includes interviews with over 70 people including former Presidents Mary McAleese and Mary Robinson and former Taoisigh Garret FitzGerald and Bertie Ahern. Inside Irish Aid explores the reasons for Irish people’s generosity towards the developing world, not only in donations but through a tradition of voluntary service going back to the missionaries. The author concludes with a frank discussion of why aid has not delivered on its promise of bringing more people out of poverty, and returns to some of Irish Aid’s partner countries to ask their views on Irish programmes and what lessons can be learned.

To download sample pages from Inside Irish Aid click here 


This an account of Irish Aid compiled by an insider. Not a disinterested insider, but someone with a quiet passion for what Irish Aid has sought to achieve over the years, who wanted that story to be better known. . . . I strongly recommend this book.

Mary Robinson, from the Foreword

Additional Information

Additional Information

Author Murphy, Ronan
Editor No
Print Format Paperback
ISBN-10 190830815X
ISBN-13 978-1-908308-15-3
Illustrations No
Date of Publication June 2012
Number of Pages 300