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    Global Irish Civic Forum to take place this week in Dublin

    By Noreen Bowden | June 3, 2015

    The first-ever Global Irish Civic Forum will take place in Dublin Castle this week, with over 175 delegates from 17 countries and representing more than 140 organisations in attendance. Those attending include representatives of more than 140 organisation assisting vulnerable emigrants, supporting Irish culture abroad, networking Irish business people, and campaigning on issues affecting emigrants.

    One issue that will be sure to be on the minds of many participants will be that of voting rights for emigrants. Following last month’s phenomenal “#hometovote” movement, which saw a large and unprecedented number of emigrants returning home to vote, it is likely that many of the delegates will be eager to talk about new ways of engagement in an Ireland to which many are likely to return.

    Panel discussions will focus on such issues as identity and heritage, assistance on returning to Ireland, challenges facing new emigrants, supporting the mental well-being of emigrants, and more. The Forum will no doubt be well-covered on social media, and the suggested hashtag on Twitter is #diaspora15.

    Ahead of the event, Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said,

    “I am very much looking forward to engaging with the participants attending the Global Irish Civic Forum. The event is particularly timely as we are starting to see the tide of emigration turning in response to steady economic recovery. Our focus is now shifting to facilitating those emigrants abroad who wish to return.
    “The forum is also a unique opportunity to thank the many organisations working throughout the world to support our emigrants in making new lives far from home.”

    Minister for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan stated:

    “I look forward to lively and engaging discussions with representatives of groups working with our emigrants abroad over the course of the Global Irish Civic Forum. Many of the groups represented are recipients of funding under the Emigrant Support Programme which has demonstrated the Government’s support and commitment to global Irish communities since 2004.”

    Here is the programme outline:

    Wednesday 3 June

    • Welcome Address by Minister for Diaspora Affairs Jimmy Deenihan T.D.
    • Panel Discussion on challenges facing new Irish emigrants
    • Panel Discussion on Irish Identity and Heritage
    • Panel Discussion on reaching out to Irish citizens abroad
    • Panel Discussion on supporting the mental wellbeing of Irish emigrants
    • Reception hosted by President & Mrs. Higgins

    Thursday 4 June

    • Address by Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Charles Flanagan T.D.
    • Panel Discussion on assisting emigrants returning to Ireland
    • ‘Diaspora Engagement – Past, Present and Future – How and Why Diaspora
    • Matters’, Kingsley Aikins
    • Presentation by John Concannon, Director of the Ireland 2016 Project Team
    • Afternoon Workshops for Irish community organisations: fundraising,
    • communication and governance
    • Closing Remarks by Minister for Diaspora Affairs Jimmy Deenihan T.D.

    See the full programme on the UCD Clinton Institute website.

    Watch recorded proceedings on the Department of Foreign Affairs website.

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