Question No. 205
Parliamentary Question - Oireachtas
To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the steps being taken by his department to facilitate Irish persons living abroad return here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Darragh O'Brien.
* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 3rd October, 2017.
Ref No: 41277/17
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, through the Emigrant Support Programme, provides significant funding and support to organisations, including Crosscare Migrant Project and Safe Home Ireland, which work with citizens who wish to return to Ireland. Over the last decade over €4 million has been allocated to Irish based organisations working with returning emigrants.
In addition, the Minister of State for the Diaspora chairs the Inter-Departmental Committee on the Irish Abroad which works to ensure that Government works in a joined up way to realise the objectives of our Diaspora Strategy. This includes addressing issued affecting the Irish abroad and those seeking to return.
Over the past year the Interdepartmental Committee on the Irish Abroad has focused its work on addressing government procedures reported to be negatively affecting returning Irish emigrants. Work is continuing in a number of Departments on addressing issues that have been raised at the Interdepartmental Committee.
To build on the work of this Committee in addressing such barriers the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has commissioned an economic report on barriers to return. In particular, the report will review and propose measures to address difficulties in areas that are not immediately within the remit of Departments to alleviate. The report will inform Government policy and actions in relation to difficulties it finds.
In addition to assisting to address potential barriers, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is always looking for new and innovative ways to assist Irish people abroad and those returning.
To support returning emigrants in a practical way, the Department has established a mentoring programme for returning emigrants to help them set up business in Ireland and contribute fully to local communities and economies across the country. The programme will be open for applications next month.