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Minister publishes Economic Report on Addressing Challenges Faced by Returning Irish Emigrants


Minister for Diaspora publishes Economic Report on Addressing Challenges Faced by Returning Irish Emigrants


The Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciarán Cannon T.D., today published a new Report on Addressing Challenges Faced by Returning Irish Emigrants.

This independent report prepared by Indecon was commissioned by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with the goal of identifying solutions to disproportionate or unnecessary administrative burdens affecting Irish emigrants wishing to return to live in Ireland.

The Report’s analysis of census data shows that in 2016 approximately 26,000 Irish emigrants returned home.

Speaking today Minister of State Cannon said:

“I am pleased to be able to publish this independent report which contains new research profiling the welcome return of Irish emigrants, examining the challenges they have faced on returning home; and importantly, making recommendations to address those challenges.

In a world of increased international mobility and an increasingly global labour market, it is imperative that the Government facilitates the mobility of our citizens; that we enable them to travel abroad, continue engagement with them while they are living abroad, and most importantly, make it as easy as possible for them to return home.

Difficulty in accessing clear information about Government services was a key issue identified by our returning emigrants. I have already prioritized this important area, and a new expanded ‘Returning to Ireland’ section is being added to the website of my Department. We will continue to work to communicate better with our returning citizens so that they get the best information possible to help make their return to Ireland as smooth as possible.

A clear whole-of-Government approach will be taken to implementing this report. Departments will report back to Government before the Summer with an update on progress made or actions taken in implementing recommendations contained in the report.”

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney TD welcomed the publication of the report:

It is timely that we are publishing this report in advance of St Patrick’s Day, when the Government will engage with Irish communities and emigrants across the world.

As we have worked to deepen our economic recovery, together we have created conditions where our people who had to leave the country because of economic need can now return. It is very welcome to see that our emigrants are now returning in large numbers - this means families are being reunited and local communities replenished.

From an economic and competitiveness point of view the country also needs the skills and international experience that returning Irish emigrants are bringing back home. This report will prove invaluable in informing the response across Government Departments to assist our returning emigrants and those who are thinking of returning home.”

Full report available:


The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provides significant funding and support through the Irish Government Emigrant Support Programme to organisations working with citizens who wish to return to Ireland. Over the last decade over €4 million has been allocated to Irish based organisations working with returning emigrants.

As Minister of State for the Diaspora, Minister of State Ciarán Cannon TD chairs the Inter-Departmental Committee on the Irish Abroad which works to facilitate a whole of government response to issues affecting Irish people abroad. In recent meetings the Committee has focused its work on addressing government procedures reported to be negatively affecting returning emigrants. This economic report was commissioned to complement this work of the Inter-Departmental Committee.

Following its independent research with returned emigrants themselves, its consultations with Government Departments and Agencies and analysis undertaken, the Report identifies 30 targeted recommendations which are split across nine thematic areas:

• Information Provision
• Housing
• Motor Driving
• Employment
• Financing and Banking and Pensions
• Health and Childcare
• Immigration and Welfare
• Education Related
• Entrepreneurial Related

Indecon (Ireland) was appointed to this project following a competitive tendering process undertaken by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


7 March 2018

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