Ireland to host diaspora forum


An event to celebrate Ireland’s diaspora communities and strengthen their bond with Ireland was announced by Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore in Dún Laoghaire yesterday.

The European strand of the Global Diaspora Forum will be held in Dún Laoghaire on May 14th and 15th. Simultaneous events will take place in Washington DC and Silicon Valley.

The forum, which was founded two years ago in Washington, was inspired by former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

Describing Dún Laoghaire’s Carlisle pier, a departing port for thousands of emigrants, as “a pier of tears”, Mr Gilmore said there was “no place more appropriate” to discuss emigration.

Speaking at the event, John Hennessy-Niland, charge d’affaires at the US embassy in Dublin, said diasporas were “classic networks” through which “information, investment and ultimately jobs” could flow.

The Irish International Diaspora Trust, which is organising the event, also plans to create a “diaspora centre” in the town, modelled on New York’s Ellis Island.