SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — American Irish eyes between 18 and 26-years-old will be smiling if a certain proposal passes in Ireland. They will have a chance to travel to Ireland and study about Gaelic culture and history for free.
The country’s Minister for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan has proposed a plan for Irish young people all over the globe to connect with Ireland by giving them the opportunity to spend 10 free days in an immersion program.
According to the Irish Times, the program would be “an orientation course on what it is to be Irish” for young people with a connection to Ireland.
Deenihan sees it as a way for the country to strengthen ties with the ‘diaspora,’ that is, people of Irish heritage around the world. There are approximately 70 million people of Irish heritage living outside of Ireland, and about 1.2 million Irish born citizens living abroad.
The proposed program is similar to the Israel Taglit-Birthright program which has helped some 400,000 young Jewish people visit Isreal over the past 15 years.
The Irish program would be funded by private and government agencies. A similar program aimed at children of Irish emigrants between 12 and 15 years of age is also under consideration.