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Global Irish – Ireland’s Diaspora Policy | Irish in Britain

The policy recognises officially, for the first time, the “unique and important relationship” between Ireland and its diaspora.

 On 3 March 2015, the Irish Government launched it’s first ever Diaspora Policy. To help people to stay in touch with home and their heritage, they have developed a new resource for the Irish abroad, an online portal available on the Department of Foreign Affairs website (www.dfa.ie/Global–Irish), a @GlobalIrish Twitter account and a new Global Irish Newsletter, which you can sign up for on the portal.

As part of this Policy the Government will convene a Global Irish Civic Forum in Dublin, to bring together diverse organisations from around the world that are facing similar challenges, but are not yet connected to each other; and will take place on 3–4 June 2015.

Unfortunately voting rights were not included in the report. At the launch Minister Deenihan said

“… [voting rights for emigrants] is a topic that has also been frequently raised with me during my engagement with Irish communities abroad in my role as Minister for Diaspora Affairs.

An extension of voting rights to Irish citizens outside the State would be welcomed by many in the diaspora. It would allow them to deepen their engagement with Ireland and to play a more active role in Irish society. It would further the wider goal of enhancing diaspora engagement. However, it would also be challenging to introduce and to manage. A range of issues would arise in this context.

The Convention on the Constitution also considered this issue and overwhelmingly recommended in their fifth report that citizens resident outside the State should have the right to vote in presidential elections.

The Government has recently considered their response to the recommendation of the constitutional convention and has decided that it is necessary to analyse the full range of practical and policy issues that would arise in any significant extension of the franchise, before any decision could be made on the holding of a referendum.”

 

You can download the report in full here.

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