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Minister Ciarán Cannon visits Boston for diaspora consultations


Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciarán Cannon T.D., today Monday Feb 11 begins an intensive two-day programme in Boston to consult with the Irish diaspora.

Minister Cannon will meet with representatives of more than 20 Irish-American organisations during a structured consultation as part of the preparation for the Government’s new diaspora policy.

In addition, Minister Cannon will visit some of the six Irish community organisations which together receive funding of more than €700,000 from the Irish Government to provide legal, welfare and cultural activities to the diaspora in New England.

The Minister will also hold political meetings; discuss international relations with students of Northeastern University and lead a discussion on women in science at Boston College to mark St Brigid’s Day.

Speaking ahead of his visit, Minister Cannon said:

“Boston is at the heart of Irish America and Massachusetts is the most Irish State in the US. Irish culture and tradition are deeply embedded there and a range of vibrant and dynamic organisations represent our diaspora.

“I am very much looking forward to hearing from them about the opportunities they see for greater engagement and collaboration and also learning of the challenges they face in delivering crucial services to the Irish and Irish-American communities.

“This will be my first visit to Boston as Minister for the Diaspora and International Development and I look forward to the discussions which will inform our work on a new strategic policy for diaspora engagement as part of Global Ireland 2025.”

Press Office
11 February 2019


Notes to the Editor

Irish Government Emigrant Support Programme

The Irish Government Emigrant Support Programme (ESP) is a tangible expression of the Government’s support, commitment to, and interest in, global Irish communities, as outlined in The Global Irish: Ireland's Diaspora Policy.  In 2018, the ESP budget was €11.595 million.  In 2018, $3,730,356 was allocated to 76 organisations across the US; of this $716,910 was allocated to organisations in Boston. 

Through the Programme the Government provides financial support to organisations engaged in the delivery of front line advisory services and community care to Irish emigrants, particularly to the more vulnerable and marginalised members of our community abroad, including the elderly. In addition, the ESP also facilitates Irish Government investment in a range of cultural, community and heritage projects, which foster a vibrant sense of Irish community and identity, as well as strategic capital projects.

Global Ireland 2015

In 2019 the Government of Ireland published Global Ireland 2025, the most ambitious renewal and expansion of Ireland’s international presence ever undertaken in terms of diplomacy, culture, business, overseas aid, tourism and trade. The key aim of the initiative is to double the scope and impact of Ireland’s global footprint in the period to 2025. As part of this initiative the Government has committed to develop a new diaspora policy in 2019 for introduction in 2020.

This requires developing a new policy and strategic approach to supporting our citizens overseas and our diaspora networks internationally, including our traditional, affinity and return diaspora.

Global Irish – Ireland’s Diaspora Policy was Ireland’s first written diaspora policy and introduced a number of new initiatives in Ireland’s diaspora engagement. At that time Ireland was one of the first countries in the world to publish a diaspora policy and since then has been recognised as world leader.

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