Parsons seeks housing support for returning Irish emigrants

Cllr Evelyn Parsons.

Cllr Evelyn Parsons.

A scheme that would facilitate housing for Irish born emigrants who wish to return home has been proposed by Cllr. Evelyn Parsons.

The scheme would see Galway County Council agree to provide one age-friendly property per year in each electoral area to a returning Irish emigrant who has been approved by Safe Home Ireland, a not-for-profit charity which facilitates the desire for older Irish people to return home. The returning emigrant would also have their housing need assessed by the local authority and be approved for the social housing list.

Cllr. Parsons explained; “There are many Irish born emigrants who would love to move home for a variety of reasons, from ill health to assisting to care for family members or to be close to family, some may have valuable skills to share and their contributions in the past to helping their Irish families with financial and tactical assistance should not be forgotten at a time when they may need our help. There had been a lot of talk about people who need shelter coming to our shores and we should not forget our diaspora.

“This scheme would assist people who have been approved by Safe Home Ireland and who meet the council’s housing criteria to move home where it otherwise may not be possible.

“These are members of the Irish diaspora who have helped to spread a love of Irish culture and sports in the countries they have made home, that have given many young persons the ‘start’ when seeking work abroad and instead of allowing them to simply become the forgotten Irish, I believe we need to support them, where possible, to ensure they are able to return home to live in Ireland.”

As part of Cllr Parsons proposal, she sought commitment that Karen McHugh, CEO of Safe Home Ireland, would present to the Housing SPC of Galway County Council outlining the work of the organisation. Her proposal was warmly welcomed by several councillors.

Cllr. Parsons is hopeful that if adopted by Galway County Council then such a scheme may also be rolled out by other local authorities.


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