Generations have left the island of Ireland to find opportunities around the world. We hear often of the “Global Irish“, estimated at near 70 million, it is only part of the story.
Global Ireland is far bigger than that.
America boasts 22 Presidents with “Irish Roots”, but on closer inspection we find 13 of them actually hailed from Counties Antrim, Derry, Down, Fermanagh, and Tyrone. Here in Northern Ireland we call those Northern Irish Connections!
They are a significant portion of “Global Ireland“.
And why “Connections”?
Beyond their ancestry, whether Irish, British, Ulster-Scots or Northern Irish, the term recognizes the millions who feel a connection to Northern Ireland by virtue of their years in school here, their connections as expats via “time served” posted in business here or on UK, Commonwealth or EU government service.
A “Prosperity Process” will carry us far beyond the economic and social benefits the peace process has yielded. It will get there when fueled by a vibrant economic recovery in both the Republic and Northern Ireland.
Growing the economies on an island of less than 6 million people requires export. Global Ireland can provide those markets.
We in turn can provide a highly skilled workforce to provide engineering and marketing support allowing companies from Americas to Asia to bridge the timezones. We can also deliver those services in every European and Eastern European language.
Lastly, Global Ireland does business beyond any connection to Ireland.
The diaspora does business with it’s own between Silicon Valley and Asia, between London and New York, from South Africa to Scandinavia and beyond.
Because as this oft quoted verse1 says of parents – Ireland is merely the bow from which our children were sent forth ….(and they) dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
Let all of Ireland’s children support each other; it will be a great model for their “parents” on both sides of the border!
1 Khalil Gibran
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.