Ireland’s Tánaiste (Deputy Leader) and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Eamon Gilmore, has launched a public consultation process as part of a comprehensive review of the Government’s engagement with the Irish abroad.

People living abroad and the wider Diaspora are being asked to submit their reflections to the Irish Government as it carries out a ‘comprehensive review’ of how it engages with Irish communities abroad.

Speaking about the initiative Gilmore said “Engagement with our diaspora is of enormous importance for Ireland. Together, we have built economic links resulting in trade, investment and tourism. Our engagement has played an important role in efforts to bring a lasting peace to this island.  It has also deepened ties of culture and kinship.”

Adding to this he said “The achievements of the diaspora, both those born in Ireland and those who claim Irish heritage, have enhanced the profile and reputation of Ireland in the world, and are a source of pride to people in Ireland.  We hope that our achievements here in Ireland are also a source of pride to them.”

The Diaspora is diverse, encompassing those who left in recent years and the descendants of those who left 100 years ago, or more. While many Irish have found great success overseas, for others it has been a challenging and difficult experience.

As part of the review, the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade is inviting those at home and abroad who are interested in and affected by issues of emigration, and the wider questions of engagement with the Diaspora, to contribute their views.

One of the key areas that the Government are seeking submissions on is the issue of the 55,000 undocumented Irish in the US. This is one of the policy issues the Department of Foreign Affairs will be accepting submissions on — along with how the state engages with ageing emigrant communities.

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny made a direct plea to speaker of the House John Boehner to forge a deal on immigration reform during his recent stateside visit for the St Patrick’s Day festivities.

Here’s how to have your say

Submissions should be made in writing and sent to the Irish Abroad Unit at the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade via e-mail: Diaspora The deadline for submissions is Wednesday April 23, 2014.