The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has announced that the Certificate of Irish Heritage scheme is to be discontinued. The uptake of the Irish Heritage certificates has been considerably less than they had previously anticipated. No further Certificates will be available for purchase after 24 August 2015.
Many well known figures have been presented with the certificates, such as President Obama, President Clinton, Tom Cruise and Lord Sebastian Coe, since it was first introduced in 2011.
The certificate came about from an idea from the Global Irish Economic Forum and was an attempt to recognise descendants of previous generations of Irish citizens in an official way and to give greater practical expression to the sense of Irish identity felt by many around the world. It aimed to show the importance the Government attaches to recognising people of Irish descent and encouraging people to trace their roots.
It is understood that the presentation of Certificates of Irish Heritage will continue.
The government will continue to analyse how members of the Irish Diaspora seek to assert their Irish identity and inform any future decisions on initiatives of this kind.