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So, are you really 'Irish enough'?

David McWilliams' article ("Embracing our global roots", January 18) concerning the woman from Argentina not being allowed to have her children acquire Irish passports, should be read, not only by ministers of state, but also for those whose concern is for the undocumented Irish in America.

For too long, Ireland has only seen itself as an emigrant country, yet the diaspora has created a quite significant effect on countries worldwide.

As an Irish-American brought up in the culture and history of Ireland, I was not allowed to work when I first moved here.

A time frame as a determinate factor in resolving who is "Irish enough," is an absurd way to create a lasting policy.

A government with a progressive, innovative program would have realised that the talents of the descendants from the diaspora would someday be an advantage to the future of this country.

If Ireland has such a special relationship with America, an arrangement would have been in place long ago to eliminate the need for some of the Irish in America to be living in fear of deportation.

Treating the returning descendants of the diaspora only as tourist numbers is not just a short sighted economic policy, it is bad for the soul.

ROBERT KEELAN MEISEL

LAHINCH, CO CLARE

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