Now that the economy is recovering, the government are encouraging Irish emigrants to return home.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, addressed this theme of assisting Irish emigrants wishing to return home at the Global Irish Civic Forum, highlighting the opportunities present in the growing economy.
The first ever Forum sees almost 200 representatives of over 140 organisations working with the Irish diaspora gather to share their experience. Among the diverse organisations represented at the conference are those which provide support to vulnerable emigrants; those which promote Irish culture abroad; Irish-focused business networks and campaign groups for emigrants.
Minister Flanagan said:
“We have a strengthening economy with a growing SME sector and we are home to an impressive range of multinational companies whose names are recognisable all over the world. Above all, we have a thriving start up sector which accounts for two thirds of all new jobs created. Jobseekers can now look to the future with hope and optimism. There are now new opportunities for Irish emigrants who wish to return home.
"The huge wave of emigration that occurred when our economy crashed was a source of significant heartache to our entire country. We want those people to come home – to live, to work, to raise their families, to be part of communities, to be part of Irish society, to enrich our country with their experiences overseas, to be part of the new Ireland where we have vowed that never again will we allow our economy and the livelihoods of our people to be exposed to such risk and vulnerability.”
Minister Flanagan also thanked those present for their support to the Irish diaspora over the years:
“I want to pay tribute to all of you for your work in assisting emigrants. I have met some of you in the UK, the USA, Canada and South Africa and I have been inspired by your passion for your work and your commitment to Irish emigrants which is demonstrated in so many different ways whether it’s providing companionship to the elderly, teaching children our Gaelic traditions in sport, dance or music or offering mentorship in business. The work that you all do and the people that you represent are vitally important to the Government. We are pleased to support many of your organisations through the Emigrant Support Programme and also through our Embassies and Consulates around the world. Your work extends the reach of our network and ensures that Irish people around the world can make the best possible lives for themselves in their new homes.”