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Global Island – Ireland’s Foreign Policy | Irish in Britain

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, launched a review of Ireland’s foreign policy: The Global Island: Ireland’s Foreign Policy for a Changing World, at a Conference in Dublin Castle organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 13 January 2015.


The review considers how the Government safeguards peace, security and economic prosperity, and promotes reconciliation and cooperation at home. For the first time the ‘growing engagement with the Irish Diaspora’ is mentioned in the first of the five board themes of the document.

Jennie McShannon, CEO of Irish in Britain welcomed this inclusion and highlighted the value of this two–way engagement saying, “The government’s vision of Global Ireland with its global community is one which will have real resonance with the Irish in Britain and we very much welcome the strong emphasis on growing engagement with the Irish around the world. Ireland supports its citizens abroad in many ways. As well as brokering support for businesses and start–ups, its support programme for the most vulnerable emigrants is quite unique and something that is rightly celebrated in the review. In return the Irish abroad contribute in manifold ways to Ireland, assisting recovery and promoting good relations in our host countries. We are also hopeful of course that we will soon be represented in parliament. In the meantime this report sets out the DFAT priorities for action and we look forward to working in continued partnership with them to the benefit of Irish people across Britain.”

The Taoiseach stated: “Our foreign policy is more important than ever to ensure Ireland engages successfully at the heart of the EU and on the world stage. Our network of embassies and State agencies are making a vital contribution to the Government’s objectives of job creation and economic growth.”

Speaking following the launch, Foreign Affairs minister, Charlie Flanagan spelled out Government thinking on the role of the Diaspora: “Ireland is a country with a global people, economy, culture and outlook. Ireland’s foreign policy is an essential tool to serve the Irish people and promote their values and economic interests abroad.”

Following the first major review of foreign policy priorities in twenty years, the Government sets a course for the future – The Global Island offers a progressive, forward–looking vision of Ireland’s place in the world. It sets out the key areas of focus for the Government’s global engagement to help secure a prosperous future for the Irish people, and to contribute to building a better world. The global financial crisis showed the fundamental importance of our place as a fully engaged member of the EU, of strong relationships with a wide range of international partners, and of the contribution of foreign policy to job creation in Ireland. As we move into a period of economic growth, Ireland’s foreign policy will be central to promoting the Government’s trade, tourism, and education and investment goals.

“Our foreign policy is also a statement of who we are as a people. The Global Island reaffirms Ireland’s principled engagement in areas such as international development, human rights, disarmament, UN peacekeeping and the search for peace in the Middle East.” – Minister Flannigan

In keeping with this tradition, the Minister confirmed that Ireland will seek election to a non–permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the period 2021–2022. “The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provides a wide range of services to Irish people living, working and travelling abroad and is leading the Government’s engagement with the global Irish diaspora. This includes the new generation of young Irish who have found opportunities abroad in recent years. The Government’s work promoting partnership, cooperation and reconciliation on the island of Ireland is also a key priority.”

Download a copy of the report here.