Throughout our recent history, emigration has acted as a pressure valve for Ireland.Discontented young people frustrated by incompetent government and the mismanagement of the economy tended to leave for more promising lands rather than stay and become politically active in an effort to improve our situation. The end result is that change has been slow coming to Ireland and the cosy cartel of Irish politics continued unabated.De Valera famously pronounced “No longer shall our children, like our cattle, be brought up for export.” Another broken promise. During the 1940s and 1950s, emigration from Ireland reached levels not seen since the Great Famine a century earlier thanks to failed economic policy.

More recently, since the country’s fortunes improved during the Celtic Tiger years, the tables have been turned. Immigration into Ireland exceeded emigration for the first time. Despite this, young Irish people continued to flock abroad in search of work or adventure. Nothing wrong with that. The youth have always been lured by the excitement of exotic locations across the globe. Having the choice of when and where to go is a luxury the previous generations never had.

However, this has exacerbated the population replacement dynamic currently in action to the point where a staggering 20% of the Irish population is foreign born. There are schools in North and West Dublin completely dominated by the progeny of immigrants with barely a native Irish child to be seen. Polish and Mandarin have overtaken Irish as the second and third most spoken languages in the country respectively. The change has happened too fast to allow time for integration. Our tiny island nation is being overwhelmed to the point where academics are predicting the Irish will be a minority in their own homeland by the year 2050.

The ultimate slap in the face is the shameful way we treat our own diaspora. Derogatory terms such as “Plastic Paddy” are thrown around in disdain towards our own emigrants and their descendants who are merely guilty of expressing an interest and love for their motherland and wish nothing more than to reconnect with their roots. This is in stark contrast to the warm welcome extended to third world immigrants from Nigeria and Pakistan, countries with zero historical ties to Ireland, who are immediately accepted as Irish the moment a faceless bureaucrat decides they are. Between 2005 and the end of 2015, more than 121,100 non-Irish nationals acquired Irish citizenship through naturalisation.

The Irish diaspora are cynically treated as a revenue source to be milked for their tourism dollars. They are paid lip service one day a year on St. Patrick’s Day with hollow words of recognition and praise that is never backed up with action. Contrast with how Israel cherishes its diaspora worldwide. Every Jew is welcome to citizenship of Israel and encouraged to make aliyah, the return to the homeland. The Birth Right program grants young North American Jews free trips to Israel to learn their people’s history, inspire a love for the country and showcase the success story of the Jewish nation. I’d like to see a similar program for young Irish-Americans. There is no sense of unity or kinship with our diaspora, which is our loss. I despair when I think of the missed networking and business opportunities.

The Israeli government is not shy to step in to provide support for its people when in distress, as seen with the Yemenite Jews during Operation Magic Carpet in the country’s fledgling years, right up to the modern day where the passage of French Jews to Israel is being facilitated en masse in the face of increasing hostility across France due to imported antisemitism from the Islamic world. How many Irish men died alone and homeless on the streets of London and New York in the 1950s? The Irish government has been slow to extend a helping hand. The native Irishman is viewed as a statistic to be squeezed for tax money and once he leaves, he is no longer any use and is brushed aside.

Thanks to the endeavors and self-organizing of our emigrant communities, Ireland has found itself in the extraordinary position where its national holiday is celebrated across the globe. This affords Ireland the unique opportunity to exert soft power and promote its brand to a worldwide audience. It’ll be a sad day when the Irish diaspora grows tired of its unrequited love and loses interest in the motherland. Perhaps when the tourism revenue dries up, the Irish establishment will finally take notice.

This article was submitted by a National Party supporter. If you would like to submit an article for publication on the National Party website, follow this link.


2 thoughts

  • Paul Gray

    With reference to the ” Irish Diaspora ” ( I prefer the term ” Indigenous Irish Worldwide ” ) considering we all communicate instantly and revel in this ” IT”age and boast of the numbers of Irish Passport Holders Worldwide combining all these elements,surely there is something we can do other than wait for Our National party to be represented at a future Government Election.I’m sure and agree a lot of foundation work is in progress and I accept the strategy put forward by the National Party.Maybe I’m dreaming, but I believe and I’m relating to all Irish People that feel the same, the NP of Ireland could nominate a date,set up communications globally and let the Diaspora rally and put their voice behind you.I’m sure many,including myself would make the trip to Ireland personally. It’s time to let the world and Our People know that we are concerned about the present situation in Ireland,
    Our Homeland.Let’s face it, The Westminister System is failing, Globally.I respect your offer to comment,Thank You.

  • Christopher W

    I am much like you in this topic.
    I get sad thinking about all the Irish Diaspora who are dying to come home, and are seemingly ignored by the leftist government, it must feel like a great betrayal. For our side, you have said it already but much cultural and economic benefit would come from their return. highly skilled and highly motivated men and women are probably abundant among them, and could be a catalyst for a revival of our economy.
    Israels approach is definitely a good model to build on. I wonder If something akin to the French Foreign Legion, or the Spanish/Russian one, could be implemented one day, where Irish-americans, and other Gaelic diaspora could join our military, and earn citizenship, or If not military, simply a national service, like community service.
    Anyway, fair play to you for bringing up such an important issue, great article

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