The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Micheál Martin, has decided to proceed with a Certificate of Irish heritage for the 70 million Irish who claim Irish descent worldwide and who do not qualify for Irish citizenship.
This announcement was part of his opening speech at the Ireland Funds Global Young Leaders Conference in Famrleigh on the 19 June, 2010. The Minister discussed the Global Irish Economic Forum held at Farmleigh in September 2009 and its objective to develop a greater strategic relationship with the Irish diaspora.
He notes that "the Government has taken a broad and inclusive approach when it comes to defining our global community" and that "The Irish Diaspora is not limited to Irish citizens living abroad or to those who have activated citizenship", that "Instead, it encompasses all those who believe they are of Irish descent and feel a sense of affinity with this country."
Article 2 of the Irish constitution is cited - "“the Irish nation cherishes its special affinity with people of Irish ancestry living abroad who share its cultural identity and heritage”."
You can read the full speech at http://www.dfa.ie/home/index.aspx?id=83581