Government urged to connect with emigrants
Crosscare’s Migrant Project has called on the government to initiate a database of Irish emigrants abroad with a view to creating a stronger on-line connection between the Irish State and its diaspora.
Crosscare Migrant Project staff made a number of proposals in a presentation to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade (today, Wednesday, 2.30pm) urging the government to move with the times and connect more directly with its diaspora and in particular recent emigrants.
Since April 2008 ,a quarter of a million Irish people have left the State. Speaking before the Oireachtas presentation, Policy Officer for Crosscare Migrant Project, Joe O’Brien said, “What is unique about this wave of emigration is that it is the first in the internet age and in many respects, the current Irish emigrant is more connected with home by using social media and internet video calls. However, the Irish government has not moved with the times and in our experience, emigrants abroad continue to feel neglected by the Irish State.”
Crosscare Migrant Project is supporting, very simply, the creation of an e-mail database of Irish emigrants abroad – the Irish Emigrant Register. This Register, according to Crosscare, could be used by the State to send regular messages or newsletters to emigrants. “As jobs emerge in an improving economy we believe that the government has a responsibility to notify emigrants directly of such vacancies” said Mr. O Brien, “At a broader level it could be used as a consultation tool in the development of government policy across a range of areas. Research has shown that recent Irish emigrants are staying very connected to current and political affairs in Ireland – this connection and interest needs to be reciprocated formally and officially by the State. In a globalised world we should take the lead in showing other global nations how to stay connected and prove how much our diaspora means to us by establishing the Irish Emigrant Register.”
Mr. O’ Brien said St. Patrick’s Day 2015 could offer the perfect opportunity and timeline to get this proposal up and running and launched. ENDS
· Crosscare Migrant Project is part funded by the Emigrant Support Programme of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to provide an information and support service for intending and returning Irish emigrants. It is a project of Crosscare the social support agency of the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin.
· The Crosscare presentation can be viewed live at http://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/watchlisten/live-flashplayer/committeeroom1/ from 230pm on Wednesday October 1st – Committee Room 1 of the Houses of the Oireachtas.
· The proposal for the Irish Emigrant Register submitted to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade can be viewed at this link: http://bit.ly/1nomXr7