Crosscare Migrant Project welcomes the appointment of Minister Deenihan as the first ever Minister of State for the Diaspora. This is a significant boost to all Irish people abroad and official acknowledgement that they are important and not forgotten. Minister Deenihan will now have crucial decisions to make on what his priorities are going to be.
Earlier this year we put a proposal to the Department for Foreign Affairs for the establishment of an Irish Emigrant Register. This would be a simple mechanism whereby people who left Ireland in recent years because there were no jobs would get regular job vacancy notifications from the Irish State about vacancies in Ireland. The Irish Emigrant Register could work to build the connection of the Irish state with the diaspora in a variety of ways and would help to bring people home as jobs become available again.
There also needs to be some effort put into making NGOs working with Irish emigrants more interconnected. We are all working away with limited resources but we need to be given more opportunities to learn from each other and this is a challenge as we are literally spread all over the world.
We will also be bringing to the attention of the Minister the obstacles to homeless services for some vulnerable returning Irish emigrants that we work with.
Of course with a Junior Ministry we now have a political focal point that can progress the recommendation of the Constitutional Convention to allow Irish citizens abroad to vote in the next presidential election in 2018.