First ever Minister for Diaspora appointed in Irish government reshuffle
Kate Hickey @KateHickey_ July 11,2014
Irish leader Enda Kenny has announced Ireland’s cabinet reshuffle and has named a minister of state for the Diaspora, the first time that has ever been done.
Former Minister for the Arts Jimmy Deenihan will now take on the role of Minister for the Diaspora a position Irish expats and Irish Americans have long been advocates for.
Deenihan, a Kerry native was a top class Gaelic footballer before entering politics.
Senator Mark Daly produced the first every policy on this issue which included the need to appoint a Minister for the Irish Overseas and Diaspora.
On hearing the announcement he said “Minister Deenihan’s appointment shows the importance of the 70 million people of Irish heritage throughout the world and the challenges that face him include Immigration Reform for the 50,000 undocumented Irish in the United States, working visas to the United States and the forgotten Irish community in Britain.
“I have previously worked with the Minister on the All Party Working Group on Commemorations and look forward to working with him in his new role. I wish him the very best of luck in his new portfolio.”
Deenihan, from Lixnaw, County Kerry, has been a government deputy since 1987. From 2002 to 2007 he was the spokesperson on Tourism, Culture and Sport and was appointed the spokesperson for Defence in 2007. In 2011 he was elected Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.