Dáil Éireann - Volume 250 - 15 December, 1970
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Emigrant Welfare Services.
Mr. T. O'Donnell Mr. T. O'Donnell
8. Mr. T. O'Donnell asked the Minister for External Affairs what services are at present being provided by the Government to assist Irish emigrants in Great Britain; and whether any additional services are contemplated.
Mr. B. Lenihan Mr. B. Lenihan
Mr. B. Lenihan: Irish emigrants qualify for British health, social security and other benefits on the same basis as the rest of the population in Great  Britain. The Irish Embassy in London arranges for the repatriation of Irish persons who are destitute and unfit for work by reason of ill health and who may not qualify for hospital treatment or benefits under the British health services or national insurances because as new arrivals they have not yet registered. The cost of repatriating the wives and children of such persons is also borne by the embassy. The embassy also repatriates young persons and expectant unmarried mothers and unmarried mothers within six months of the birth of the child.
The embassy maintains close liaison and collaborates with the Irish welfare centres in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool and with several diocesan welfare societies, and reimburses to such centres and societies expenditure incurred by them in arranging the repatriation of persons in the categories referred to above.
The embassy also co-operates with the children's departments of local authorities in Britain and with the British probation services in cases affecting the welfare of young persons from Ireland and arranges their repatriation where necessary.
The embassy maintains close liaison with Irish organisations and groups throughout Britain and through its contacts with these organisations and groups and with local clergy the embassy is able to have distress cases promptly investigated and advice or assistance provided where this is called for.
The embassy does everything possible to inform emigrants in Britain of employment opportunities in Ireland as compiled and publicised by the Department of Labour and provides relevant information for those wishing to return to Ireland.
A special officer was appointed to the embassy in 1961 to keep contact with Irish organisations and groups in Great Britain engaged in helping Irish emigrants. In 1968 an officer with the rank of Minister Plenipotentiary was appointed to the embassy for the same purpose. The Government are considering further ways in which to assist Irish emigrants in Great Britain.
Dáil Éireann 250 Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. Emigrant Welfare Services.