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Certificate of Irish Heritage scheme to be discontinued

Culture, Irish abroad, Press Releases, Ireland, 2015


The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade wishes to announce that the Certificate of Irish Heritage scheme is to be discontinued. The uptake of the Certificate of Irish Heritage has been considerably less than anticipated. No further Certificates will be available for purchase after 24 August 2015.

The Certificate of Irish Heritage was introduced in 2011 to recognise descendants of previous generations of Irish citizens in an official way and to give greater practical expression to the sense of Irish identity felt by many around the world.

The Certificate was a practical expression of the importance the Government attaches to recognising people of Irish descent and encouraging people to trace their roots. It was never anticipated that the Certificate of Irish Heritage would provide significant revenue to the Government.

In addition to purchased Certificates, a number of presentations have been made to well known figures such as President Obama, President Clinton, Tom Cruise and Lord Sebastian Coe. These presentations have been an important opportunity to recognise the achievements of the global Irish community, even where the connection with Ireland goes back over several generations.

Arrangements will be put in place to allow for the presentation of Certificates of Irish Heritage to continue.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is conducting further analysis on how members of the Irish Diaspora seek to assert their Irish identity. This analysis will inform any future decisions on initiatives in this area.

In the meantime, members of the Diaspora can continue to stay in touch with their Irish heritage by following @Globalirish on Twitter and signing up to our Global Irish Newsletter.


Press Office

17 August 2015

Notes to Editors: