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Ireland wants to hear from people of Irish descent

The Irish government is reaching out to Irish emigrants and their descendants around the world.


They want to hear their views on how effectively Ireland engages with its diaspora – the worldwide family of people of Irish descent. The public consultation is part of the government’s review of its relationship with the wider Irish community.

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore said: “The diaspora is diverse, encompassing those who left in recent years and the descendants of those who left 100 years ago, or more. We want to hear from all of the Irish overseas.”

The worldwide Irish community is very important to Ireland. Last year the number of tourists visiting the country exceeded the number of citizens living there. A large proportion of those tourists were visiting Irish relatives of descended from Irish families who emigrated decades or centuries ago.

In total, more than 8 million people visited Ireland in 2013, mainly thanks to the tourism campaign, the Gathering, which encouraged people of Irish descent to visit the land of their ancestors.

Erin go Bragh
Ireland wants to hear from people of Irish descent

Ireland has strong economic links to other countries thanks to its diaspora. Gilmore also said that the diaspora had played an important part in bringing peace to Ireland.

Members of Ireland’s diaspora who want to give their opinions on issues such as emigration and the government’s engagement with emigrants can have their say. Details of how to submit their views can be found here.

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14 thoughts on “Ireland wants to hear from people of Irish descent

  1. Lindsey Howald Campbell

    I do have Irish ancestors. My Great-Grandmother Lula Mae was a Hart, which I believe was orginally O’Hart or the Gaelic Ó hAirt. My mother’s side of the family is the Thompson family, which I believe were Scots-Irish. Many of the Thompsons are listed in the Irish Famine Immigration in U.S. immigration archives and my research shows many of them leaving Scotland and moving to Ireland a long time ago. My maiden name Howald is Swiss-German and my husband’s name Campbell is Scottish, but we are not sure if there are any Campbell’s in Ireland. If there are Howald’s in Ireland that would some great information too.

    11/03/2016 at 5:55 pm
  2. Andrea Geer

    I have several lines of Irish ancestors on both my mothers and fathers side, just to name a few of them…..O’Reilly, McCandless, Mulvihill, Ferguson….. My husband also has Irish ancestors in the O’Leary line. We plan on visiting Ireland for our 20th anniversary.

    21/04/2014 at 4:08 pm
  3. Daniel Williams

    Advice. Yes. If your grandparents were Irish-born, you are entitled to Irish citizenship. Contact your nearest Irish embassy or consulate and they will be able to tell you what documents you need. I have done it and travel back and forth and stay as long as I like. I was born in America and found it easy to become anIrish citizen and acquire an Irish passport. Very handy if you are on a hijacked plane and the hijackers want to kill all the Americans on board, but will leave the Europeans alone.
    As an alternative, contact the Irish embassy in line in New York, they can send you the forms you will need and lots of other information. They are very welcoming and eager to help.

    26/03/2014 at 6:30 pm
  4. Vicki Novak

    I am of irish descent-about 80% to be precise. I have been to Ireland twice and never expected to find that the stories were indeed true; that the irish have a mystical connection to the land. I knew I was home. I have traveled throughout the states and can honestly say I have never had that feeling before or since.

    Eire and her people are simply amazing. Not a day goes by that I do not think of “home” and when I can return. Both times I left I cried getting on the plane because I did not want to leave.

    23/03/2014 at 4:26 am
  5. carla steele

    My mom is a fitzgerald, can’t get much more irish than that !!!! we have a family tree and coat of arms ; I would love to hear from some of my irish family in the mother land !!! <3

    22/03/2014 at 9:52 pm
  6. Paula Derry

    My Father was from Irish, Scottish descent. I think the Derry name was derived from Derrick.

    22/03/2014 at 2:29 pm
  7. Kate walker (nee) O'loughlin

    Am doing family history on “O’loughlin”, from Co Roscommon (late father’s side of family and McHughs from Dunfanaghy Co Donegal.(late mum’s side of family.. Love and am so proud of my Irish heritage.
    I even had copper coloured hair and freckles as a child

    22/03/2014 at 3:13 am
  8. mary hart carroll

    My grandparents emigrated to the US around 1900 or so…my grandmother maiden name McCarthy..her mother or grandmother..Lynch…from Mayo..grandfather from Claire

    22/03/2014 at 2:00 am
  9. Thomas Michael Lennon

    Fathers Grandfather Daniel Lennon and Grandmother Abby Conboy came from Cloonakilleg, Tisrara, Roscommon to Lynn, MA in 1855 (+/-). Mothers Father Michael Doran and Mother Annie Houghton came from Culdaff, Donegal to Charlestown, MA in 1905 .

    22/03/2014 at 12:21 am
  10. Linda Freeman

    My maiden name is Kirkley. I was always told that we were from Irish descent, I recently discovered a town in England by the name of Kirkley. So I’m confused on that. Now wonder if my ancestors were from Ireland or England. Do you have any info on the name Kirkley?

    22/03/2014 at 12:15 am
  11. Kathleen Brosnahan

    I am 100% Irish. All my great grand-parents were forced to leave Ireland to survive. I come to Ireland every year, but must leave after 3 months for the lack of permission and opportunities to stay and make a simple life. I advocate for Irish citizens who wish to live and work in the US. No one advocates for me. I can’t even insure a car with a flawless driving record and 25 years of Irish driving experience. Any advice?

    22/03/2014 at 12:02 am
  12. David Callahan

    i am planning a trip to Ireland this summer and I would love to find out how to find relatives

    21/03/2014 at 11:15 pm
  13. Cecelia Kelsey

    I am of Irish decent on my Mother’s side. Her Great Grandparents came to Nova Scotia from Ireland and somehow ended up in Olean, NY. Their name was MacMillian. My Dad relatives came from Scotland!

    21/03/2014 at 11:04 pm
  14. suzanne emond

    My grand mother was and irish * Smith * Wish I could visit you some day …

    21/03/2014 at 10:50 pm

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