A private company, working alongside the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, has announced the promised “Certificate of Irishness” will be available to applicants from fall 2011.
The certificates of Irish Heritage will be available to an estimated 70 million people with Irish lineage worldwide from fall. FEXCO, a Kerry-based company and a global provider of consumer services, will work with the Department of Foreign Affairs to get the certificate manufactured and distributed.
Managing Director of FEXCO, Gavin O’Neill said “FEXCO is delighted to have secured this prestigious contract and our team will begin working closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs to design and deliver a Certificate and service of the highest quality.”
These certificates are aimed at those whose Irish ancestry goes back beyond their grandparents. It is for those Irish who are not eligible for an Irish passport. The new identification will also grant them special tourist and travel deals as well as being a concrete acknowledgment of their Irish heritage.
The idea of a certification of Irishness was first raised at the Global Irish Economic Forum in September 2009. The project was announced last June.
A spokesman from the Department of Foreign Affairs said, last December, that plan “will enable people who have a strong Irish connection to assert their Irishness and their heritage.”
In 2010 almost 11,000 people applied for their Irish citizenship through their grandparents. These figures suggest that there are millions of Irish descendants around the world who will apply for these certificates.
It is expected that those applying will have to hold official documents such as birth certificates, baptismal forms, death or marriage documents or property deeds to prove their lineage.
Further details will be announced by the Department of Foreign Affairs.