Government to launch
Irish ancestry certificates in January
Irish Americans are
eligible for new document
By CATHY HAYES,
IrishCentral.com Staff Writer, 28th December 2010
The Irish Minister for
Foreign Affairs Micheal Martin has told the Government that he hopes to
have the plan for a ‘Certificate of Irish Heritage’ ready to launch
in January 2011.
Irish Americans who are
not eligible for Irish citizenship, those whose ancestry is further back
than their grandparents are all eligible.
programs on travel to Ireland will likely be included as part of the
He said “It will
enable people who have a strong Irish connection to assert their
Irishness and their heritage. For many people beyond the grandparents
stage there is no manifestation of the fact they are Irish.”
Martin was also
keen to point out that there would be no cost to the taxpayers. He said
“It will be self-financing. There will be a charge for the certificate
but it's not to make money. It's not a revenue generating mechanism at
Department of Foreign Affairs is finalizing a contract with a
Kerry-based company, Fexco, who will operate the scheme.
The idea for this
‘Certificate of Irishness’ arose from a review of relations between
Ireland and the US carried out by Michael Collins, the Irish Ambassador
to the U.S. The scheme will target millions of people worldwide who have
Irish ancestry and a strong affinity with Ireland.
It’s believed there
are up to 80 million in total. Although many of these people are no
longer eligible for Irish citizenship due to the passage of generations
they will be eligible for the certificate.
The idea for such a
scheme arose because of the strong demand amongst the Irish diaspora
around the world.
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