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    Charter for a New Ireland revisions Ireland as global nation

    By Noreen Bowden | January 28, 2010

    I’ve already written about Amhran Nua, the new political party that is announcing its formation with a campaign for emigrant voting rights. Another, unrelated, political movement is also underway with a related theme: to re-envision Ireland as a truly global nation – a new global Irish republic comprised of both its residents and its diaspora. The vision is being advanced by a collaborative group led by Raymond Sexton of Tangible Ireland, developing a “Charter for a New Ireland”.

    Is such a de-territorialised state possible? I don’t know.  What the charter (which I’ve copied below) reminds me of most is the “node-state” notion of Israel (which I’ve noted in the past). As with the Israeli “node-state” idea advanced by Ariel Beery, this vision decouples not only citizenship and residency (although residency and citizenship in Ireland are already relatively loosely connected),  but also as the nation from the state.

    As I said previously:

    This idea of the nation-state giving way to a node-state has implications for a country like Ireland, which says in its constitution, “the Irish nation cherishes its special affinity with people of Irish ancestry living abroad who share its cultural identity and heritage.? With millions of Irish citizens living abroad, and with efforts to enhance the relationship between Ireland and the diaspora and Ireland on the increase, it could be argued that Ireland, too, may be moving toward a node-state (albeit, I hope, a more inclusive one than Israel’s, which excludes some in its territory from citizenship).

    Could Ireland be reconceived as a node-state including all on the island of Ireland, plus the 1.2 million Irish-born abroad, and the 70 million in the diaspora? And what would that mean in practical terms?

    This charter appears to be an attempt to say yes to the first question and provide a foundation to underpin an answer to the second. It’s an exciting idea: has the world changed enough to encompass a nation it is impossible to emigrate from, because where ever you are, there it is?

    It’s a big vision. It will be worth watching to see what comes of this.

    One of the first steps the group is taking is to explore the notion of political participation by the Irish abroad. The issue of emigrant voting rights is beginning to look like a question that isn’t going to go away.


    Here is the statement from Tangible Ireland:

    The Irish are a courageously global people.  Ireland is both the earth wire for this people and the source of great pride as it took its place among the free nations of the earth, but one small island in the Atlantic can no longer limit our dreams and aspirations.  In an era of serial crises, Ireland, beset with institutional and leadership problems, seeks a new way of moving forward.
    Combining the Irish in Ireland and the Irish Diaspora to create the Global Irish will unleash the power of a people of great art, creativity and energy.  Moving beyond one small island frees us from parochialism and allows us to enhance our contribution to the world.

    To ignore the Irish outside Ireland is an act of wanton neglect.  To view the Diaspora as a source of handouts is mutually insulting.  To create the structures that guarantee the inclusion and participation of all the Irish in the life of the nation is to create the global Irish Republic.  Once created, Irish emigration ceases; from that day, Irish people are always at home and Irish nationalism is replaced by Irish internationalism.

    All Irish-born people are entitled to citizenship.  The descendants of our emigrants together with immigrants toIreland and others with a strong affinity to Ireland should be entitled to apply for citizenship of a global IrishRepublic.  All citizens should have appropriate representation in the houses of Irish government and the opportunity to contribute to developing Ireland’s role in the world.  This global Irish Republic should be a non-ethnic, true republic in which we can all participate and take pride; it should not tolerate domination, segregation or sectarianism.

    It is now time to find and work with the willing to develop the policies, projects and structures that will breathe life into Global Irishness.  This will be the development of an active Charter for a New Ireland.  Through collaborative leadership we can create a culture of shared excellence throughout the Irish world.  We can build a truly dynamic and sustainable economy that benefits all our people and powers the social services necessary for a humane society.  No longer content with mediocrity or with the worst of the ways of the past, with passivity, deference and dependence, we will apply the full range of skills, qualities and abilities of all our people to the challenges we face.

    Our first tasks are to:

    • Describe the appropriate level and form of representation for the Irish abroad
    • Clarify our expectations of ourselves as citizens of a global Irish Republic
    • Demonstrate an Ireland of Excellence

    No man has the right to fix the boundary to the march of a nation.  No man has the right to say to his country thus far thou shalt go and no further. We have never attempted to fix the ne plus ultra to the progress of Ireland’s nationhood, and we never shall.

    – Charles Stewart Parnell

    See more on the Tangible Ireland website.

    Topics: Latest News | 1 Comment »

    One Response to “Charter for a New Ireland revisions Ireland as global nation”

    1. OLIVER LUPTON Says:
      November 7th, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      Having lived abroad during 70’s into 80’s and returned during last recession I believe the merit in connectivity is worthy of Expansion into a world state Ireland. We already have that. I do not know of a conflict on the world stage wherer there hasn’t been an Irish person on both sides….that said, that is the greatest difficulty…we only respond to hardship and needs how do you copper fasten that into a Constitutional Diaspora of Irish nationhood?