Diaspora Policy Review
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is undertaking a comprehensive review of our Diaspora policy to examine all elements of our engagement with the Irish abroad. The review will examine how the Diaspora can continue to feel connected and actively engaged in the development of Ireland.
Ireland has an enormous Diaspora, estimated by some as totalling some 70 million people worldwide who can claim some Irish descent. The scale and reach of that Diaspora is a result of successive waves of large-scale emigration, over a period of more than 150 years. The Irish Diaspora, however, is not an homogenous group and should not be viewed as such – members of the Diaspora include those who have left Ireland in recent years, as well as those who are descended from emigrants of many generations past; those who left Ireland to develop their careers, as well as those who moved away for personal and family reasons. It includes some who have been enormously successful and some for whom emigration has been a less positive experience.
Engagement with the Diaspora has long been of enormous importance for Ireland. It has been a distinctive feature of efforts to bring a lasting peace to the island. It has built economic links resulting in trade, investment and tourism. The achievements of the Diaspora, both Irish born and those of Irish descent, have enhanced Ireland’s profile and reputation internationally, and are a source of pride to people in Ireland. Members of the Diaspora have shown Ireland, and Irish culture and sports, in all parts of the world.
As part of the review, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is inviting those at home and abroad who are interested in and affected by issues of emigration, and the wider questions of the Diaspora, to contribute their views by way of a submission. The consultation paper on the review of Ireland’s engagement with the Diaspora includes details on how to make a submission.