70-nation diaspora use birth cert site
They were born or married in Ireland but ended up scattered across at least 70 countries including some exotic far-flung nations.
A snapshot of the 20,000 who applied online for for birth, adoption, death and marriage certificates over the past year highlights Ireland's ties to countries outside of the traditional diaspora destinations of the UK and America.
They also included requests for certificates of stillborn babies from parents who tragically lost their infants.
Figures released by the Health Service Executive yesterday show these certificates have been ordered online from no fewer than 70 countries since the service became available last year.
A spokeswoman said the website www.certificate.ie enables customers to purchase certificates of birth, adoption, death, stillbirth and marriage from anywhere in the world at any time offering a convenient and safe online service.
"The Civil Registration Service maintains all records of births, deaths and marriages in the Irish State," she explained.
The countries from which applications originated included United Arab Emirates (4), Afghanistan (1), Austria (2), Australia (360), Barbados (1) and Canada (161). Other countries included Botswana, Switzerland, Chile, China, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Fiji, Hong Kong and Hungary.
Also included were requests from Uzbekistan, The Vatican, US Virgin Islands, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
There were 2,959 applications from the UK and 12,457 from people living in Ireland. The site received 1,004 requests from the United States.