At the end of September the website for the Irish Government’s Certificate of Irish Heritage will go live giving millions of people with Irish roots the chance to be officially recognized by the Irish State.
Although the Certificate will be issued by the Irish Government it is not a certificate of citizenship nor does it give the holder rights or entitlements of a citizen of Ireland.
The Certificate aims to recognize those of Irish heritage in an official way and to give a practical expression to the sense of Irish identity felt by millions. It is the Government’s intention, by releasing the Certificates, to maintain their strong ties with communities around the world, now and in the future.
From October the Irish Government will be accepting applications after their official launch this Monday. The first Certificate of Irish Heritage was presented to a 9/11 hero, Irish American firefighter Joseph Hunter, posthumously.
For now here’s a guide to the eligibility criteria and how to apply for the Certificates:
- Applications are open to persons who were not born on the island of Ireland and who can provide appropriate supporting documentation connecting them to an individual Irish ancestor.
- Irish citizens or persons entitled to Irish citizenship through other means will be eligible to apply provided they have not been born on the island of Ireland.
- Persons born on the island of Ireland are not eligible to apply.
- Applications for persons under the age of 18 at the date of application must be made by their parent or guardian on their behalf.
What you need to apply?
- A valid email address
- A scanned image of your ID eg: a driving license, passport or national identity document
- The name(s) of one or two ancestors that will appear on the Certificate (a parent, grandparent, great-grandparent etc)
- The year and place of birth of your ancestor(s) are optional, but will appear if you have them.
- A scanned or downloaded image of your ancestor supporting document. Eg: a birth certificate of Irish ancestor, baptismal/marriage/death certificate of ancestor showing place of birth, land records, wills, census records, ships manifests or immigration records.
- The names of the people in the line of descent between you and your ancestor.
- A credit card (MasterCard or Visa)
How to apply:
All applicants must apply online at www.heritagecertificate.ie.
Processing and approval of applications and the issuing of Certificates will be managed, on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade by FeXco. All enquiries about the Certificate should be addressed directly to FeXco whose contact details will be available on the website.
How much will it cost?
Each Certificate will be the local equivalent of €40 (approx US$55) excluding shipping. A framed version will also be available for purchase (although this will incur a higher cost). Full details of the costs of including shipping and framing are available on the website.
Certificate as a gift:
A Gift Card facility will be introduced. You will be able to purchase a Gift Card for family or friends. Each applicant, however, must apply individually and provide the required information and documentation in order to receive the Government issued Certificate.
The website (www.heritagecertificate.ie) will go live at the end of September.