First copies of the new Irish ‘certificate of heritage’ will be available by the end of  the year the Irish government has stated.

Irish companies are rushing to provide proposals for the certificate of heritage for Irish abroad who want to mark their Irish ancestry.

Foreign minister Michael Martin has stated that the interest in creating the certificate has been high "Expressions of interest were received from a number of interested service providers and are currently under consideration."

He told the Evening Herald newspaper  "Those applying for certificates of Irish heritage will be required to submit comprehensive details of their Irish ancestral connections and relevant documents and certificates to show their connection with Ireland."

The first certificates are likely to be issued by the end of the year.

The certificate will be a concrete acknowledgement of a person's Irish heritage and may also allow them travel and tourist  discounts.

The certificate will give government  recognition to those who have some Irish ancestry but who are not eligible for Irish citizenship.

With to 70 million worldwide claiming  Irish heritage, the Government expects "substantial demand".

The plan was created out of the Farmleigh  meetings on the Irish Diaspora last September.