In the 19th and 20th centuries, 10 million people emigrated from Ireland. The good news is that this has resulted in a diaspora of over 70 million people, with more than 44 million living in the US alone.
There has always been a deep bond between Ireland and her diaspora, which is reflected in the Irish Constitution, Article 2 of which states ‘the Irish Nation cherishes its special affinity with people of Irish ancestry living abroad who share its cultural identity and heritage’.
The Irish diaspora has produced a winning philanthropic combination. Photo credit: Garry Knight.
Ireland has a Minister of the Diaspora, a national diaspora policy, an Irish Abroad Unit in the Department of Foreign Affairs – which funds Irish community organizations around the world with over €12 million annually – a Global Irish Network of 350 CEOs around the world and many hundred Irish diaspora organizations in business, culture, sport, education and philanthropy.