Alan Brogan's words of warning to emigrants
DUBLIN football hero Alan Brogan has warned emigrants of their responsibility to maintain goodwill towards Irish people abroad.
The two-times All-Ireland winner was speaking at the launch of a new social media campaign aimed at raising awareness among emigrants of the consequences of getting into trouble abroad.
The numbers of Irish people jailed in Australia alone rose from four last year to 21 this year.
They are among 1,256 people who got on the wrong side of the law abroad.
Brogan (32) said there were many supports for emigrants and these might often be found within the GAA community.
"Thankfully, I never got into trouble but it does happen," he said.
"It's also important for people to remember there is a great fondness for the Irish built up by the people who left this country before - like my own father.
"People are willing to help, but we also have a responsibility to retain that goodwill for those coming after us."
The Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas (ICPO), which is behind the 'Good to know before you go' campaign, believes the figures under-represent the Irish people in prison abroad, most of whom get into difficulties through drugs or alcohol misuse.
ICPO coordinator Joanna Joyce said: "We don't have any figures for Canada, the UAE or New Zealand, which are growing more popular with Irish emigrants."
Meanwhile, in Buncrana, Co Donegal, President Michael D Higgins yesterday presented the third Tip O'Neill Irish Diaspora Award to Massachusetts State Senate President, Therese Murray.