Kerry T.D. Jimmy Deenihan has been named Ireland’s first Minister of State for the Diaspora.
The Irish Times calls the post “a huge boost for the Irish abroad, marking the first significant official gesture towards political representation for Irish people living outside the country.”
One of his first duties will be exploring whether Irish citizens living outside the Republic are given the right to vote in presidential elections.
Deenihan was Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Earlier in his career he helped in the effort to restore the Lartigue monorail. My wife and I met him briefly at the Listowel museum in 2012. His full bio is here.
The appointment was part of a larger shakeup in the Irish government.