The Irish in America

Ireland Continues to Reach Out to Diaspora


Henry Ford, Jr. and Bill Clinton have theirs. So does Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly. Do you want one, too?

The Irish Government launched the Certificate of Irish Heritage program this past Autumn. All you need to do is submit your application with proof you have an Irish ancestor and $75 and you will receive your choice of three certificate designs. The certificate is also available in Spanish, English, or Irish.

The Certificate of Irish Heritage website describes the key element of the application as the ancestor document – “a document which identifies the recipient’s ancestor as Irish or as being born in Ireland.”

The documentation should be relatively simple for most people seeking a certificate to obtain (many most likely already have it.) The Irish government will accept birth, marriage, and death certificates or census records, from any country as proof of Irish ancestry.

If you have trouble pinning down an ancestor of Irish origin, the website offers links to professional genealogists who are ready to help you locate the necessary documentation.

Tip: You can save $ if you purchase multiple certificates at the same time. Get your entire family on board and organized and order your certificates together. You will save time by only compiling the appropriate documents and research once. Obtaining the Certificate of Irish Heritage could be part of your next family reunion or holiday get-together.

What do you think of this certificate? Will you apply for one? Please leave a comment…I would love to hear your thoughts!

Are your Irish roots in North Kerry? Yes? Then you are in luck!

I recently became aware of another Reaching Out initiative in Ireland. This time it is North Kerry looking to connect with members of the diaspora back to their region.

They have a great website offering assistance to those tracing their roots to North Kerry and providing local historical and current events information.

The following parishes of North Kerry are participating in the NKRO effort: Listowel, Ballyduff, Lisselton/Ballydonoghue, Ballybunion, Asdee, Ballylongford, Tarbert, Duagh, Lyreacrompane, Lixnaw, Moyvane/ Newtownsandes, Knockanure, Finuge, and Kilflynn.

Any of these places sound familiar? I bet the folks at NKRO would love to hear from you!


Author: Aine

I live in Saint Paul, Minnesota. My heritage pretty much covers the map of Ireland: great-great-grandparents from Cork (Crowley, Foley, Regan), a great-great-grandmother from Clare (Quinn), a great-great-grandfather from Fermanagh (McMahon) and his wife's parents from Mayo (McAndrew), a great-grandmother from Connemara (Hannon) married to my great-grandfather from Laois (McCormack), great-grandparents from Sligo (Flannery), and a great-grandmother from Kildare (Hill). All of those people ended up in Minnesota, where my four grandparents were born. Three and four generations after my people left Ireland for America, I retain all Irish heritage. So much for the melting pot...

2 thoughts on “Ireland Continues to Reach Out to Diaspora

  1. I was, at first, excited about the prospect of holding a document that acknowledged my Irish heritage. In the meantime while I worked hard to pinpoint an ancestor on Irish soil.
    However, I discovered upon locating the birth place of my ggg grandfather, Patrick Smullen, in Co Kildare I no longer felt I needed a piece of generic paper to lay claim to my Irish descent. Whats blood is blood.

    • Very nicely said, Melissa. I feel much the same way about the certificate. I think it could be meaningful for people who are unable to visit Ireland, but are proud of their heritage and want to make it official.

      Nice work on tracing your Smullen roots – it certainly doesn’t sound like it was an easy task! It can be challenging to make sense of our ancestors’ lives as immigrants struggling to make it in a new place.

      Thanks again for your comments! It is great to hear what people think!


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