Fine Gael TD for Clare and Chairman of the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee, Pat Breen, has welcomed the launch of Global Irish, the first clear statement of the Government’s policy on the diaspora by the Minister for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan, alongside an Taoiseach, Enda Kenny.
“This policy recognises officially, for the first time, the unique and important relationship between Ireland and its diaspora. Global Irish sets out actions to nurture and develop this relationship, and to engage the diaspora.
“The new Global Irish website launched today contains a wealth of information for the diaspora on support services; living abroad; staying in touch; and returning home to Ireland.
“This policy contains a new Global Irish Media Fund to encourage media coverage of the diaspora. It also includes an alumni challenge fund for collaborative initiatives by Irish institutions to target their Irish and non-Irish graduates working internationally.
“It was also confirmed that there will be a fourth Global Irish Economic Forum to be held in Dublin in November 2015 and Ireland’s first Global Civic Forum which will be held in June this year will bring together Irish community leaders and diaspora communities to discuss the challenges facing the Irish abroad.
“Irish people can be found in all four corners of the world, in every continent and in almost every community, no matter how remote. Many of these Irish people are second or third generation and others have emigrated due to the economic crash.
“Ireland is now in a position where we have the fastest growing economy in Europe and where the recovery is beginning to take hold. Now the focus is on ensuring that all communities and every family feel the benefit of the recovery. Creating an Ireland where the Irish abroad have an opportunity to come home is part of this goal. 2016 will be the year when the number of our people coming home, will be greater than the numbers who leave.”