Roma donates $1m. to Irish Arts Centre

Roma Downey.
Roma Downey.

Derry-born actress Roma Downey is understood to be making a $1 million donation to the Irish Arts Centre in New York City.

The ‘Touched By An Angel” star is reported to be making the donation through the American Ireland Fund.

It is one of the largest ever made to an Irish non profit organisation and will go towards the $60 million redevelopment plan for the centre on Manhattan’s’ West Side.

The massive new facility will have a 199-seat theatre, an 85-seat intimate café venue and studio spaces for classes and rehearsals

The City of New York has already pledged major funding, as has the Irish government .

Explaining her decision to pledge the money, the Derry-born star said: “When I first immigrated to America, it was to New York City I moved.

“In those early years as a homesick artist, I personally sought out the Irish Arts Centre and found solace from the work they were doing there, and strength from the people that gathered there.

“So I am incredibly grateful that all these years later I am personally able to support helping The Irish Arts Centre expand with this incredible new building and the exciting new programmes, and I applaud The American Ireland Fund for its important support of this vibrant programme.”

American Ireland Fund CEO Kieran McLoughlin welcomed the $1 million pledge to the Irish Arts Centre.

He said: “It is marvelous that such a celebrated artist as Roma is doing so much to promote and preserve Irish culture in her adopted home. Her generosity is a tribute to the power of, and necessity for, philanthropy.”