Tuesday 18 August 2015

RIP Certificate of Irish Heritage

The Government's Certificate of Irish Heritage is no more.

Lack of interest in a bit of paper with absolutely no genealogical integrity resulted in fewer than 3,000 sales since the scheme was introduced in September 2011.

Back then, purchasers were required to provide documentary evidence of their ancestral connection to qualify for the certificate. When this didn't bring in the punters in the first year, any notion of the certificate providing proof of Irish heritage was abandoned and the only qualification became a valid credit card with which to pay €45 (or €120 if framed).

On that basis the scheme has continued for three years, with almost all its marketing wrapped around celebrities, dumbing it down even further.

And now it's been officially scrapped. There will be few tears.

Last day for ordering a certificate is Monday 25 August.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has issued a press release saying that it is not precluded from operating this scheme in the future. "However this will only be undertaken following further analysis on how the members of the large Irish Diaspora are seeking to assert their Irish identity. In the interim the Department will retain the ability to produce Certificates for presentational purposes as and when required."

I can't help wondering how proud someone would be on presentation of a certificate that so few people want or value.