Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Diaspora, Seán Crowe TD, met with representatives from the Crosscare Migrant Project today and supported their proposal for the creation of an Emigrant Register.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“Crosscare Migrant Project came before the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee today to discuss their Emigrant Register proposal, which calls for the Government to create an e-mail based database for emigrants to sign up to in order to periodically receive an information newsletter from the State.

“This register could transform how Ireland communicates with its diaspora, which needs huge reform, especially in this age of technology.

“The register could not only open better channels between emigrants and the State, but promote job vacancies in the public and private sector. It would also be a clear sign that the Government wants to connect with emigrants and bring them back to Ireland.

“The Government should also bring in Diaspora voting measures and this register could act as a way to connect with our emigrants on how to get registered and where they can eventually vote.

Crowe continued:

“While I recognise that most of the people this register is aimed at are the young or middle age emigrants who have left in recent years, it is important that we don’t ignore the plight of those emigrants who left this island in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s.

“Some of these emigrants are living extremely vulnerable and lonely lives, particularly the so-called Forgotten Irish in Britain.

“Now that the Government has created a Minister for State for the Diaspora it is vitally important that it acts on these extremely important issues in a tangible and meaningful way.

“It should act on this proposal and explore all the positive possibilities it could bring.”