Global Irish parliamentarians gather in Dublin03 September 2015
Congressmen Richard Neal and Brendan Boyle among participants in First Global Irish Parliamentarians’ Forum
An international group of Irish-connected parliamentarians will gather in Dublin today (Thursday) for the first-ever Global Irish Parliamentarians’ Forum. The forum will foster Ireland’s relationship with its diaspora by bringing together Irish-connected political representatives who serve in national parliaments and state assemblies in Australia, Canada, France, the UK and the USA.
Minister for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan TD, invited the parliamentarians to this forum which emerged from Ireland’s diaspora policy, Global Irish, in which the Government restated its commitment to nurturing Ireland’s relationship with its diaspora.
Today (Thursday), Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, will welcome 44 parliamentarians to Iveagh House, the headquarters of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to brief them on recent economic developments in Ireland.
Minister Flanagan said:
"I welcome Minister Deenihan’s initiative in organising this unique gathering of parliamentarians from around the world. I look forward to welcoming our guests to Iveagh House at the start of their busy programme, to update them on Ireland’s economy and the government’s economic goals for the period ahead, particularly a more even spread of the positive effects of economic growth throughout the country. Exports from Ireland play a critical role in our growing economy, contributing to the 125,000 jobs created since the Government’s first Annual Action Plan for Jobs in 2012. My experience as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade has made clear to me that friends of Ireland overseas, including parliamentarians, can be of great assistance to Irish companies seeking to do business overseas."
Minister Flanagan added:
"At this politically sensitive time in Northern Ireland, I am also pleased to welcome some noted friends of the Peace Process in Northern Ireland, such as Congressman Richie Neal, to Dublin."
Following their briefing with Minister Flanagan, the group will visit Leinster House for a special session in the Dáil chamber chaired by the Leas Ceann Comhairle where they will be addressed by Tánaiste Joan Burton, TD and Minister Jimmy Deenihan, TD.
Speaking in advance of the visit, Minister Jimmy Deenihan, TD, said:
"Over successive generations, members of the Irish diaspora elected to overseas parliaments and assemblies have been active spokespersons and advocates for Irish communities overseas. By maintaining close ties to their heritage, they ensured the Irish voice was heard in local, regional and national political systems around the world.
"The forum will foster Ireland’s relationship with its diaspora by bringing together Irish-connected political representatives who serve in national parliaments and state assemblies in Australia, Canada, France, the UK and the USA. Among the group is Congressman Brendan Boyle – the only member of the US House of Representatives with an Irish born parent."
"I am delighted to welcome such a significant number of parliamentarians to Dublin and am excited by the possibilities such a gathering affords. I was overwhelmed by the positive response to my invitation and I am confident that this forum will further strengthen the bonds these elected officials feel with Ireland. This forum will allow us to brief the parliamentarians on the Government’s ambitious plans to commemorate 1916, including the many events which will take place around the world."
The group will also visit some of Ireland’s most popular attractions including the Book of Kells at Trinity College Dublin and the GAA Museum in Croke Park. The visitors will also have the opportunity to visit the Stephenstown Pond nature park in Dundalk which is supported by the International Fund for Ireland.
2 September 2015
Notes for Editors:
The International Fund for Ireland was established by agreement between the British and Irish Governments, with the support of the US Administration, in 1986. The Fund has continued to be supported by the US with additional donations being received from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the European Union. It has distributed some €900 million in support of peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the southern border counties since 1986. It is currently working with marginalised communities and individuals who have not yet or have only recently engaged with the peace process.
· Photos of the gathering will be released by Maxwell Photography
· Global Irish: Ireland’s Diaspora Policy can be found here https://www.dfa.ie/media/globalirish/global-irish-irelands-diaspora-policy.pdf