An inclusive Irish global community, voting rights in Presidential elections, solutions for Irish undocumented in the US and the future of Ireland's Diaspora to be addressed in the new plan.
Irish Government's new diaspora strategy takes a broad and inclusive definition of the diaspora, reflecting the diversity of the global Irish community today.
The Irish Diaspora Strategy 2025 also reflects the priorities in the Programme for Government, in particular:
- the commitments to ensure that the most vulnerable of our overseas communities are supported
- to hold a referendum to extend the right to vote in Presidential elections to Irish citizens, wherever they live; to seek pathways to legal migration to the US and solutions for undocumented Irish citizens
- to promote opportunities by the next generation of the Diaspora to work and study in Ireland
- to address barriers facing emigrants who are returning home.
Welcoming the publication of the new Strategy, the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Micheál Martin said, “I am very pleased to launch Ireland’s new strategy for the Diaspora, central to which is a deep appreciation of the profound importance of connection. For many, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has placed a renewed emphasis on their relationship and links to Ireland.
“There are around 70 million people around the world who are Irish-born or of Irish descent and this Strategy celebrates these people and all who have a special affinity with Ireland. It cherishes their diversity, champions our connections with each other and seeks to give our diaspora a strengthened voice within Irish life, while also setting out the many ways this Government will work to support the Irish abroad.”
The Irish Diaspora Strategy 2025 has five main themes – people, values, prosperity, culture and influence. The culture and influence refers to extending Ireland's global reach by connecting to the next generation of the diaspora.
The Strategy's first priority is the care for the most vulnerable and marginalized of the global Irish.
It also aims to heal the relationship with Ireland's "emigrants who left Ireland in crisis as a result of discrimination or as a victim of institutional abuse".
Ireland's government also plans on holding a referendum on whether to allow Irish citizens living abroad to vote in the Presidential elections. As well as re-establishing the Irish Government's commitment to establishing a legal pathway to those living in the United States without documentation, including support for the E3 visa.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defense, Simon Coveney welcomed the new Strategy saying “the commitment by the Government to holding a referendum to extending voting rights in Presidential elections to our citizens outside the State provides a real opportunity to engage all citizens around the world in our democracy. It underlines the importance attached by the Government to making the Presidency an office which truly represents all the citizens of Ireland.”
Minister of State for the Diaspora, Colm Brophy said “Our first priority always will be the welfare of our people abroad. Irish community-based organizations play a vital role in helping vulnerable Irish emigrants and we will continue to support their work through the Emigrant Support Programme.
"Just as Ireland is changing, so too is the experience of emigration. Young people will still go abroad but, when they want to come home, we want to make that an easy process.
"Ireland is today a more diverse and multicultural country and so too is our diaspora. This is something we value and will celebrate.”