Monday, 21 June 2010

Certificate of Irishness

If you are a fan of Plastic Paddy syndrome, this one is definitely for you...!

The Irish Times has reported that the Irish Government is going to go ahead with plans to introduce a "certificate of Irishness". You pay a fee for the certificate, which can be applied for by the Irish diaspora. The initiative was first proposed at the Global Irish Economic Forum at Farmleigh last year. It is apparently not designed to raise much revenue (ahem!), and is to benefit those who live abroad who have Irish heritage which they wish to proudly display to their families. OK, fair enough, Scotland's GRO has a Book of Scottish Connections, a similar deal.

However, here's the bit which I suspect will stick in the craw - "The department is investigating the possibility that certificate-holders would benefit from discounts while visiting Ireland as tourists." What if an Irish person resident in Ireland and actively contributing on a daily basis to the Irish economy turns up with an Irish birth certificate or an Irish passport - isn't that proof enough?! Would he or she then have to buy a certificate of Irishness to show the same thing? Nuts...! And what about tourists who don't have a connection - isn't it just plain racist to discriminate against them when it comes to dishing out discounts?
Not sure this has been fully thought through!

The full story is at

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