Of Irish origin? Get the proof and earn discounts

Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:36am EDT
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By Andras Gergely

DUBLIN (Reuters Life!) Do you have Irish ancestry? Are you traveling to Ireland soon and hoping for discounts? The Irish government may have the answer for you.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has issued a tender for a company to distribute "Certificates of Irish Heritage," which holders could display in their homes, give to their children as gifts or use to get discounts at Irish tourist attractions.

As the tender document explains, anyone born in Ireland, born to an Irish parent or with a grandparent born in Ireland can qualify for full Irish citizenship.

However, those who are just "aware they are of Irish descent and feel a strong affinity for Ireland" but are too many generations removed to get an Irish passport would appreciate a document to prove their origins, the ministry said.

Members of the Diaspora, which is estimated at 70 million, could get the certificates for an as-yet-unspecified fee.

Eligibility criteria would not be "overly cumbersome" and probably won't require the submission of any original documents, though birth certificates, death or marriage records could be taken into consideration, the ministry said.

It said the idea had been one of the practical proposals of the "Global Irish Economic Forum" last year, a summit of CEOs and media personalities of Irish origin from around the world who brainstormed about ways of getting Ireland out of recession.

It said the proposal had received an "overwhelmingly positive response" abroad. "We should not belittle or undermine the value of this sentiment," the ministry said in an e-mailed statement.   Continued...