The Irish Times Abroad digest is back!

With a new team member on board, and news about the referendum on emigrant voting rights

 

Irish Times Abroad has gone a little quiet in recent weeks, as I’ve stepped into a new role editing the Saturday Magazine. But Rachel Flaherty has just joined the Abroad team, and we’re rebooting now for summer. You’ll be hearing more from Rachel in the weeks to come, but in the meantime, if you would like to contribute by writing your own story, answering a Working Abroad Q&A or sharing your insider’s guide to the city where you live for the Welcome To My Place column, you can contact Rachel at abroad@irishtimes.com.

After much can kicking by successive governments on the issue of emigrant voting rights, it looks likely that a referendum on whether to extend the vote for President to Irish citizens abroad will finally be held in October. Very little detail has been given about the proposal - most importantly, who will be able to vote (all Irish citizens? only Irish-born? only Irish passport holders?) and how (by post? at embassies? online?) - but diaspora campaigners are already gearing up. This will be the big story for the Irish abroad over the coming months.

In another welcome development for Irish diaspora campaigners, thousands of undocumented Irish are set become eligible for driving licences in New York for the first time in 20 years, after a new bill was approved earlier this week.

In Emigrant Voices, regular Abroad contributor Philip Lynch writes about his upcoming visit to Ireland this summer, when he will be travelling on his Australian passport. It has been a decade since his last visit, and he wonders what will still resonate and what old ghosts may resurface. And our Working Abroad Q&A today is with Shane O’Connor, who works for an environmental and food science company in Munich and says he has had a lot more opportunity to develop his career there without a degree than he would have had in Ireland.You’ll find plenty more stories by and about the Irish diaspora that you might have missed over the past few months on irishtimes.com/abroad.

To receive this digest to your inbox each week, you can join the free Irish Times Abroad Network here.

Thanks for reading.

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