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Minister Deenihan addresses the Seanad on Global Irish: Ireland’s Diaspora Policy


Minister Deenihan addresses the Seanad on Global Irish: Ireland’s Diaspora Policy

Minister for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan, TD, is this evening (Tuesday) addressing the Seanad on Ireland’s new diaspora policy Global Irish. The policy, which was launched last week, is the first comprehensive statement of Government policy on the Diaspora.

The Minister said:

“When you consider the scale and depth of the Irish overseas, and our long history of repeated ebbing and flowing from our borders, we can all agree that having a comprehensive Government policy in place is timely and welcome.”

Minister Deenihan outlined the ways in which the policy will support, recognise and connect with the diaspora; facilitate engagement with the diaspora; and ensure an evolving policy responsive to changing diaspora needs.

On the importance of supporting the diaspora in the policy, Minister Deenihan said:

“In 2014 we provided almost €12million in financial support to 210 organisations working with emigrants and the diaspora in over 20 countries spread over five continents. Funding is delivered through the Emigrant Support Programme which has provided €125million in grant assistance since its inception in 2004. The new policy confirms that welfare will remain at the heart of the Emigrant Support Programme. We will also pay particular attention to specific vulnerable groups such as ageing communities, Travellers, prisoners, the undocumented and those with mental health needs.”

The Minister stressed that the Global Irish policy is focused on action and is an evolving policy. Actions planned include a Global Irish Civic Forum, a Global Irish Media Fund; an Alumni Challenge Fund; and a Fourth Global Irish Economic Forum. Minister Deenihan will also chair an Inter-Departmental Committee which will oversee the implementation of the policy.

Minister Deenihan said: “We have just launched an online Global Irish Portal which is an easy to access source of information on how to remain connected to Ireland through sport, heritage, culture and media. It also provides information to help emigrants settle in their new homes and, indeed, how to come home for those who are considering that. The portal will continue to evolve in response to users’ demands.”

Press Office
10 March 2015