Tuesday, 19 January 2010
Dáil Eireann Debate
674. Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he has assisted the Redleg people of Irish slave decent in Barbados, St. Vincent, Grenada and other Caribbean states; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1475/10]
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Deputy Micheál Martin): The Irish Abroad Unit within my Department maintains a keen interest in all aspects of the Irish experience of emigration, both forced and voluntary, and has active programmes aimed at strengthening our links with Irish communities overseas; including in the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, South Africa, Europe and Asia.
While we have no active programme in the Caribbean at present, officials from the Irish Abroad Unit have held a number of exploratory meetings since 2008 with representatives of the descendents of those Irish people who were deported by Oliver Cromwell to Barbados in the 17th Century. During these discussions, the group were encouraged to maintain contact with the Government and to reflect further on the most appropriate way to recognise this unique community within the Irish Diaspora.
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