Just 1,042 Irish heritage certs issued so far
THE Irish diaspora may number over 40 million worldwide but a paltry 1,042 Certificates of Irish Heritage have been issued so far.
High-profile celebrities who have received a certificate include US President Barack Obama, former president Bill Clinton, actor Chris O'Donnell and every Rose of Tralee contestant this year who wasn't born in Ireland.
President Michael D Higgins even promoted the scheme on his recent visit to Latin America, presenting one to the coach of the Argentinian rugby team, Santiago Phelan.
Launched in September 2011, the idea was first mooted in 2009. Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan thinks the scheme will "gain momentum" during The Gathering next year.