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Ireland’s first Diaspora Policy launched

Irish Abroad, Ireland, Minister Charles Flanagan, MoS Jimmy Deenihan, Press Releases, Europe, Great Britain, Latin America, North America, Ireland, 2015

Ireland’s first Diaspora Policy launched

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD together with An Tánaiste, Joan Burton TD, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, and Minister of State for Diaspora Affairs, Jimmy Deenihan TD today (Tuesday) launched Global Irish: Ireland’s Diaspora Policy.

Global Irish is the first clear statement of the Government’s policy on the diaspora. The policy recognises the unique and important relationship between Ireland and its diaspora and sets out actions to nurture and develop this relationship, and to engage the diaspora.

Speaking at the launch, the Taoiseach said:

"I am particularly pleased to be launching this policy document at a time in this country when we are securing our recovery and Ireland has reclaimed its place in the world. Our key focus for this year is to ensure that more people – throughout the country- start to benefit through more jobs or improved income. We also want people to be able to come home.  I want to see them playing their part in the rebuilding of our economy, bringing home their experience to take up some of the jobs that are now being created. I believe that, after 7 years of emigration, 2016 will be the year when the number of our people coming home, will be greater than the numbers who leave."

Today also sees the launch of the new Global Irish website. The website contains a wealth of information for the diaspora on support services; living abroad; staying in touch; and returning home to Ireland.

The Tánaiste noted that:

“It is important that we maintain and develop the connections that we have with those who are Irish, of Irish ancestry and those who share our cultural identity and heritage.  So I am pleased to see that communications is a core theme in this Policy and we must ensure that we are proactive in reaching out to the Irish abroad to strengthen our relationship.”

A number of new initiatives contained in the policy were outlined today. They include a new Global Irish Media Fund to encourage and support media coverage of the diaspora and emigration experience, and, an alumni challenge fund to provide seed-funding to new collaborative initiatives by Irish institutions to target their Irish and non-Irish graduates working internationally.

Today it was also confirmed that there will be a fourth Global Irish Economic Forum to be held in Dublin in November 2015.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Flanagan announced that a fourth Global Irish Economic Forum, bringing together the Global Irish Network, would take place on 19th November.

“I am pleased to confirm that a fourth Global Irish Economic Forum will be convened in November.  The fourth Forum will build on the recovery, reputation and job creation themes of the previous three, but November’s Forum will also reflect the progress made in turning our economy around and delivering stability and growth.

“A great deal of work lies ahead to ensure we maximise the potential of the next Forum.  As outlined in the Policy, the next Global Irish Economic Forum will have a better gender balance than its predecessors and will aim to be more representative of modern society.  I look forward to leading that work.”

Minister Deenihan noted the continued emphasis on welfare in the policy and associated actions. He outlined Ireland’s first Global Civic Forum which will be held in June this year which will bring together Irish community leaders and members from Ireland’s emigrant and diaspora communities to discuss the challenges facing the Irish abroad.

Speaking at the launch Minister Deenihan said:

“This Policy is a series of actions that, taken together, will serve to deepen our engagement with members of the Diaspora.
“I want to acknowledge and pay tribute to the community groups, organisations, and individuals, many of whom I have met, who have worked hard to retain, encourage and promote Irish culture throughout the world - our music, dancing, theatre, and our native games. 
“I am also very mindful of the tremendous support provided from within the community to those Irish who find themselves in difficult situations, or at times of illness or bereavement.  A powerful spirit of community and solidarity can be witnessed in Irish communities across the world.”

Press Office
3 March 2015

Notes for editors:

• Global Irish is available on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s website in English and Irish:

• Global Irish is the result of a wide-ranging process of consultation initiated in 2014 involving other Departments, State Agencies, the Oireachtas, civil society and members of the public.  More than 130 submissions were received from the public.  These are listed on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

• Implementation of the policy will be driven primarily by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in tandem with the network of embassies and consulates and in conjunction with the Department of the Taoiseach. Minister Deenihan will establish an Interdepartmental Committee on the Irish Abroad, with participation from external stakeholders as required, to ensure oversee implementation of the policy objectives.  Progress against those objectives will be reviewed after two years.