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First Global Irish Civic Forum meets in Dublin

The first ever Global Irish Civic Forum will take place in Dublin Castle on Wednesday and Thursday this week, bringing together representatives of over 140 organisations working with the Irish diaspora to discuss their work and share ideas.

More than 175 delegates from 17 countries will attend from organisations which provide welfare and support to vulnerable emigrants; those which promote Irish culture abroad; Irish-focused business networks and campaign groups for emigrants.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charles Flanagan, TD, and Minister for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan, TD will address the Forum.

Speaking today Minister Flanagan stated:

“I am very much looking forward to engaging with the participants attending the Global Irish Civic Forum. The event is particularly timely as we are starting to see the tide of emigration turning in response to steady economic recovery. Our focus is now shifting to facilitating those emigrants abroad who wish to return.

“The forum is also a unique opportunity to thank the many organisations working throughout the world to support our emigrants in making new lives far from home.

"Over the course of the two days panellists will examine topics such as the challenges facing new Irish emigrants; reaching out to members of the Irish diaspora; how to support the mental well-being of our diaspora and how to assist Irish emigrants to return to Ireland. Workshops on governance, fundraising and communications will also be held to support emigrant organisations."

Speaking ahead of the Forum, Minister Deenihan stated:

“I look forward to lively and engaging discussions with representatives of groups working with our emigrants abroad over the course of the Global Irish Civic Forum. Many of the groups represented are recipients of funding under the Emigrant Support Programme which has demonstrated the Government’s support and commitment to global Irish communities since 2004.”


Press Office

1 June 2015

Notes to Editors

Programme for Global Irish Civic Forum:

Wednesday 3 June

Welcome Address by Minister for Diaspora Affairs Jimmy Deenihan T.D.

Panel Discussion on challenges facing new Irish emigrants

Panel Discussion on Irish Identity and Heritage

Panel Discussion on reaching out to Irish citizens abroad

Panel Discussion on supporting the mental wellbeing of Irish emigrants

Reception hosted by President & Mrs. Higgins

Thursday 4 June

Address by Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Charles Flanagan T.D.

Panel Discussion on assisting emigrants returning to Ireland

'Diaspora Engagement - Past, Present and Future - How and Why Diaspora Matters’, Kingsley Aikins

Presentation by John Concannon, Director of the Ireland 2016 Project Team

Afternoon Workshops for Irish community organisations: fundraising, communication and governance

Closing Remarks by Minister for Diaspora Affairs Jimmy Deenihan T.D.

· The Emigrant Support Programme provides funding to not-for-profit organisations and projects to support Irish communities overseas and to facilitate the development of more strategic links between Ireland and the global Irish. Since 2004 over €125 million has been provided to such groups abroad.

· As part of ‘Global Ireland: Ireland’s Diaspora Policy’ which was launched in March 2015 a commitment was made to holding an event which for the first time ever would bring together groups working with our diaspora abroad to facilitate the sharing of ideas.