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Global Irish: Ireland’s Diaspora Policy Launched

(Text and photo taken with permission from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website: https://www.dfa.ie/our-role-policies/our-work/casestudiesarchive/2015/march/global-irish-irelands-diaspora-policy-launched/)
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Flanagan_Deenihan_GlobalIrish Launch

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, and Minister of State for Diaspora Affairs, Jimmy Deenihan TD have launched Global Irish: Ireland’s Diaspora Policy. (Original photo from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website)

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD together with An Tánaiste, Joan Burton TD, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, and Minister of State for Diaspora Affairs, Jimmy Deenihan TD have launched Global Irish: Ireland’s Diaspora Policy.

Global Irish is the first clear statement of the Government’s policy on the diaspora. The policy recognises the unique and important relationship between Ireland and its diaspora and sets out actions to nurture and develop this relationship, and to engage the diaspora.

Today also sees the launch of the new Global Irish website: https://www.dfa.ie/global-irish/. The website contains a wealth of information for the diaspora on support services; living abroad; staying in touch; and returning home to Ireland.

A number of new initiatives contained in the policy were outlined today. They include a new Global Irish Media Fund to encourage and support media coverage of the diaspora and emigration experience, and, an alumni challenge fund to provide seed-funding to new collaborative initiatives by Irish institutions to target their Irish and non-Irish graduates working internationally.

Today it was also confirmed that there will be a fourth Global Irish Economic Forum to be held in Dublin in November 2015.

Speaking at the launch, Minister for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan, noted the continued emphasis on welfare in the policy and its associated actions. He announced Ireland’s first Global Civic Forum which will be held in June this year which will bring together Irish community leaders and members from Ireland’s emigrant and diaspora communities to discuss the challenges facing the Irish abroad.

Global Irish defines Government’s role to both drive and foster diaspora engagement in a way that:

  • Supports: those who have left Ireland and need or want support;
  • Connects: in an inclusive way with those, of all ages, around the world who are Irish, of Irish descent or have a tangible connection to Ireland, and wish to maintain a connection with Ireland and with each other;
  • Facilitates: a wide range of activity at local, national and international level designed to build on and develop two-way diaspora engagement;
  • Recognises: the wide variety of people who make up our diaspora and the important ongoing contribution that they have made, both individually and collectively, in shaping our development and our identity;
  • Evolves: to meet changing needs in changing times.

The Policy confirms the fourth Global Irish Economic Forum which will be held in Dublin in November 2015. New initiatives include the announcement of a Global Irish Civic Forum in June 2015, a Global Irish Media Fund to encourage and support media coverage of the diaspora and emigration experience, and, an alumni challenge fund to provide seed-funding to new collaborative initiatives by Irish institutions to target their Irish and non-Irish graduates working internationally.

The Minister for Diaspora Affairs, Mr. Jimmy Deenihan T.D. will establish an Interdepartmental Committee to oversee the implementation of the Policy. The implementation of this Policy will be reviewed after two years.

Supporting the Diaspora

We will:

  • Keep welfare at the heart of our approach to diaspora issues
  • Move to multiannual grants under the Emigrant Support Programme where appropriate
  • Commit 1% of Emigrant Support Programme funding to quality assurance
  • Increase our focus on the issue of the mental health of emigrants
  • Support efforts to better equip those who are leaving, for short or long term periods of time, to understand their destinations

Connecting with the Diaspora

We will:

  • Explore working with Northern Ireland Connections and others to pursue an engagement to benefit the island of Ireland
  • Convene an Interdepartmental Committee on the Irish Abroad, including external stakeholders as required, to work on the delivery of the Diaspora Policy and examine issues affecting the Irish abroad and those seeking to return
  • Review the implementation of this policy after two years
  • Support local authorities in identifying and connecting with their diasporas
  • Improve communications and connectivity between Ireland and its diaspora. Two-way communication with the diaspora will be central to this engagement
  • Support coverage by the media of stories about the Irish diaspora through the Global Irish Media Fund
  • In 2015, seek suitable partners to pilot the initial phase of an initiative aimed at deepening the ties with Ireland of younger non-Irish born members of the Irish diaspora
  • Open the Emigrant Support Programme to projects which deepen links with the diaspora and promote a deeper understanding of Ireland globally through the commemoration of key historical events in Ireland, including the 1916 Rising

Facilitating Diaspora Engagement

We will:

  • Encourage Irish community organisations to achieve independently validated quality assurance standards and support them in so doing
  • Convene a Global Irish Civic Forum in Ireland in 2015, to discuss the challenges facing the Irish abroad and to capture the voice of ordinary Irish emigrants; this will be complemented by a resource for Irish organisations worldwide, beginning with those funded by the ESP
  • Convene a new format Fourth Global Irish Economic Forum (19 – 21 November) with increased engagement with organisations in Ireland, greater female participation, and more participation by young people
  • Arrange more structured and more frequent Regional Network meetings
  • Support business networks to facilitate the success of Irish people at home and abroad
  • Focus on creating more opportunities as part of the economic recovery so that those who left the country because of economic need can return
  • Support efforts to use Ireland as a hub for research into the potential and reach of diasporas and the practical application of such research

Recognising the Diaspora

We will:

  • Encourage Irish people, organisations and communities to engage with the nomination process for the Presidential Distinguished Service Award
  • Undertake an evaluation of the operation of the Certificate of Irish Heritage scheme

Evolving Diaspora Policy

We will:

  • Support research so that we can better understand the diaspora and their needs
  • Ensure diaspora policy is responsive to evolving needs
  • Connect with new diaspora communities
  • Launch an alumni challenge fund to provide seed funding to new collaborative initiatives by Irish institutions to target their Irish and non-Irish graduates working internationally

Find out more

Global Irish: Ireland’s Diaspora Policy