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Last week saw almost 200 people working with Irish communities in 17 countries meet to discuss issues such as wellbeing, Irish identity and heritage, emigrant voting rights, and how recent emigrants can be encouraged to return to Ireland.   This was the first time that organisations working with the Irish Diaspora had the opportunity to meet and discuss the challenges they face and to compare strategies for a more collective, and creative, approach to Diaspora policy. 

Minister for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan, chief executive of Irish in Britain Jennie McShannon, and Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan at Dublin Castle this week.

The first event of its kind, Ireland Reaching Out was priviliged to be a participant at this forum and to be able to discuss matters of identity, heritage and sense of place with others working with the Diaspora community - both in Ireland and abroad.  The need to engage local Irish communities in any Diaspora conversation was highlighted and positive feedback was received about the ongoing and potential impact of the Ireland Reaching Out programme around the world.  Many connections were made with Irish support groups abroad and we hope to build upon these relationships in the near future.

The Forum was organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and hosted by Jimmy Deenihan T.D. Minister for Diaspora Affairs.  Mr Deenihan said in recent years the relationship between Ireland and its diaspora had “moved from the individual, with stories and connections maintained at the family level, to more of a national appreciation and an international understanding of our global family as a whole unit”.

One of the outcomes anticipated from this Forum will be improved communications amongst the organisations present - allowing us to leverage the networks available to us and to ultimately create greater access to, and engagement with, Irish people living throughout the world.


We hope you have found the information we have shared helpful. While you are here, we have a small favour to ask. Ireland Reaching Out is a non-profit organisation that relies on public funding and donations to ensure a completely free family history advisory service to anyone of Irish heritage who needs help connecting with their Irish place of origin. If you would like to support our mission, please click on the donate button and make a contribution. Any amount, big or small, is appreciated and makes a difference. 

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