Why Ireland needs a Minister for Diaspora after Gathering success

Ambivalence towards Irish abroad has to be ended, why Ireland needs a Minister for Diaspora after Gathering success.

Such a ministry could also deal with the issue of emigrant votes.  The reality is that graduates living abroad already have a vote in NUI or Trinity seats for the Seanad which is downright discrimination against those living abroad who have not graduated from such institutions.

The Diaspora should be given the opportunity as the French afford, to elect at least one senator and one Taoiseach’s nomination from the nation abroad.

There is a lot of palaver on this issue about emigrants flooding the ballot box. Put simply, very few would turn up at consulates to vote on Election Day anyway. A five-year cut off date after departure from Ireland would further focus the issue.

In the end the lesson of The Gathering needs to be internalized and acted on in Ireland, that a strong aggressive message, focused directly on a warm invitation to visit pays off huge dividends. It can be created in many other fields if the proper attention is given.

American Ireland Fund CE0 Kieran McLoughlin states it succinctly "Potential is a dangerous word and can cover a multitude but the potential of the irish American/irish relationship has never truly been tapped. It is truly a vast resource."

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