\"Government

Government to recognize 70 million diaspora

Irish heritage certificates announced by government

\"Government

Government to recognize 70 million diaspora

The Irish government is to introduce a certificate of Irish heritage for the 70 million Irish of the Diaspora who do not qualify for an Irish passport.

The certificates are expected to be available from the end of this year.

The initiative, was first put forward  at the Global Irish Economic Forum at Farmleigh last year.

The certificates may allow discounts on many services in Ireland including air fares, hotel accomadation and a range of other tourist related activities.

The certificates will be issued by a third party business working with the Irish government.

The government believes the heritage certificate will be a valuable heirloom for millions of Irish descent who will be able to display them.

Foreign Minister Michael Martin said the Government had taken" a broad and inclusive approach to defining Ireland’s global community.

The Irish diaspora is not limited to Irish citizens living abroad or to those who have activated citizenship. Instead, it encompasses all those who believe they are of Irish descent and feel a sense of affinity with this country.”

He stated that" the reach, power and influence of many members of the diaspora can provide Ireland with an important competitive edge", he pointed out.

Some speakers at Farmleigh were critical of the fact that there was no attempt to reach out to those Irish who did not have access to Irish citizenship but who wanted to be part of the Diaspora.

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