Retaining links with Irish abroad
MAINTAINING a good relationship between Irish people at home and abroad will be an important priority in the future.
The White Paper's chapter on "The Irish Abroad" suggests the Government will work to ensure that the relationship is "characterised by realism and mutual respect and the reciprocal pride and affection is channelled in the most constructive possible way".
Up to 70 million people throughout the world can claim Irish descent. "The existence of this vast extended Irish family creates an immense reservoir of goodwill towards Ireland and is one of our most important assets as a nation."
Ireland currently has 58 honorary consuls. The Government has plans to extend this service with the approval of the countries concerned. There are proposals to appoint consuls for the first time in a number of east European countries.