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  • is now! will continue to be a resource about Irish emigration and the diaspora for the Irish in Ireland and abroad, policy-makers and the media.

    Looking for more information on global political participation by emigrants – as mentioned in the Irish Times of 14 November?
    See my most recent post: Political participation by the Irish abroad – Irish Times.

    Ean’s Legacy

    Emigration resonates deeply with us all, touching as it does every family at some time or another. We understand very well the sadness of parting and the difficulties of adjusting both for those that left as well as those that remained. Indeed, this sadness and sense of loss is reflected in Padraic O Conaire’s beautiful but poignant word for exile, ‘deoraíocht’, from the Irish word for tears.

    However, we also recognise that the experience of emigration represents much more than a litany of loss. It is also a long and proud story of opportunity, of courage and of bridging two worlds.
    – President Mary McAleese, at Ean’s 2005 Conference

    Éan was an independent emigration network aimed at improving the quality of the emigrant experience; it was comprised of statutory and voluntary agencies, as well as individuals and academics interested in emigration from Ireland and return migration to Ireland.

    Ean’s board opted to move toward a voluntary winddown in January 2009, in the belief that the organisation had succeeded in its mission of calling attention to the needs of the Irish abroad. Much had changed since the organisation’s launch in 1996: most significantly, the Irish government has risen to the challenge of providing for the needs of the Irish abroad. The Task Force Report and the development of the Irish Abroad Unit signalled Ireland’s new commitment to the Irish abroad – a commitment that has been reinforced by a dramatic increase in funding to groups engaged in emigrant welfare.