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Ten Point Plan on Diaspora Engagement | Irish in Britain

Irish in Britain has welcomed the appointment of the first Minister for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan. CEO, Jennie McShannon said he has a unique opportunity to take the aspirations of the Irish Diaspora to the heart of Government. What do you think about her 10–point guide to an action plan?


“For Irish organisations around the world, this is an enormous challenge”, she said. “We need to match the Taoiseach’s bold vision with a commitment to forge a lasting partnership, to work together and be even better at what we do best.

Jennie has written seeking an early face–to–face meeting with the Minister and pledged to assist him to reach out and engage with the whole community. “Jimmy Deenihan has been a regular visitor and will always be welcome in Britain”, she said.

When it is pointed out that the Minister has only a short 20 month window between his appointment and the next general election at home; Jimmy Deenihan says “I will have to move fast”. Jennie McShannon says: “We welcome his intention to act quickly. I hope his determination to make progress and deliver results will be recognised and met by a ready response from this side of the water. Working together, our action plan has to be audacious and seen to be a practical programme to deliver results. This 10–point plan is what I want to discuss with the Minister – what do you think? Practical and decisive? Let me know your views.”

Our Ten Point Plan on Diaspora Engagement

1) Fly the flag for the Diaspora: our business, our people
At home and abroad, promoting our diversity and huge contribution – social, political and economic

2) Building on success
Supporting and strengthening existing infrastructure of services for the most vulnerable

3) Recognise our needs equally
Support new migrants and the older Irish; speaking for high flyers and those who hit hard times

4) Work across Departments of Government
Scoping the Diaspora perspective and creating a cabinet committee chaired by the Taoiseach

5) Celebrate our global culture
From cutting edge artists to traditional clubs; our sports, our language; our literary heritage

6) Measures for greater Diaspora co–operation
Building on success of Global Irish Forum with a parallel community and civil society dimension

7) Involve Diaspora in the election of our President
A date for referendum on Constitutional Convention recommendation to extend vote

8) Don’t shut the door on young migrants
Always welcome back? Practical assistance and an end to automatic disenfranchisement

9) Representation in the Oireachtas
Consultation and research on methods and measures required to facilitate fundamental change.

10) A global Irish dimension on peace & reconciliation
Marking the ‘Decade of Centenaries’, supporting the peace process and assisting more recent victims