Minister Flanagan and Minister McHugh open second Global Irish Civic Forum4/5/17
- The theme of this year’s 2 day Forum is “Communities, Connections, Conversations”
- 220 delegates, representing over 150 Irish community organisations from all over the world
The Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD and the Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Joe McHugh TD, will this morning (Thursday) open the second Global Irish Civic Forum, which will take place in Dublin Castle today and tomorrow.
The theme for this year’s Civic Forum is “Communities, Connections, Conversations” and some 220 delegates, representing over 150 Irish community organisations from all over the world, will be attending over the two days.
Speaking in advance of the opening of the Forum, Minister Flanagan said:
“I know from my experience at the first Civic Forum that this is a tremendous opportunity to build better connections and improve engagement levels with our diaspora. Having the opportunity to have so many voices represented in one Forum allows us to best hear about the opportunities and challenges that are currently before the Irish abroad.”
“In a year of much change I welcome the opportunity to reconfirm our commitment to and connection with our diaspora. Irish heritage, and its associated values, are not something that diminish over time or distance and the level of participation at this Civic Forum is testament to this fact.”
Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Joe McHugh, added:
“I am delighted at the excellent response from Irish community organisations all over the world to my invitation to participate in this the second Global Irish Civic Forum. I am looking forward to meeting Irish community leaders, not only from our more established communities in Britain, America, Canada and Australia but also from Irish communities in Europe and the Middle East.
“Bringing together such a diverse and large diaspora audience will allow us to discuss some of the most pressing issues affecting the global Irish, including the extension of voting rights in presidential elections, providing supports for returning emigrants and how we see the make-up of our diaspora, and their needs, changing into the future.
“It is also a valuable opportunity for Irish community organisations in different parts of the world to engage directly with each other, and to learn from each other.”
The various panel discussions and workshops that will take place over the two days have been developed to provide representatives of the global Irish community with an opportunity to share with Government, and with each other, their views on current opportunities and challenges facing them and their communities.
Key issues to be discussed include the implementation of the Government’s diaspora policy; new emigration trends and future needs of the Irish abroad; the proposal to extend voting rights in presidential elections to citizens resident outside the State; and maximising opportunities and supports for returning Irish emigrants.