In a move that could be a real moneymaker - and thus an incentive to provide genealogical services - for many additional countries, Ireland will begin providing Irish Heritage certificates by the end of 2010.
There are some 70 million individuals worldwide with Irish heritage, and this seems like a great way to show it. The certificate may also provide travel and tourist discounts when the certificate-holders visit Ireland.
According to IrishCentral.com, Irish companies are providing proposals for the heritage certificate:
Foreign minister Michael Martin told the Evening Herald newspaper "Those applying for certificates of Irish heritage will be required to submit comprehensive details of their Irish ancestral connections and relevant documents and certificates to show their connection with Ireland."
The certificate will be a concrete acknowledgement of a person's Irish heritage. It will provide government recognition to individuals who, although not eligible for Irish citizenship, do have Irish ancestry.
The plan dates from meetings on the Irish Diaspora held in September 2009.
As more individuals connect with their ancestral countries, towns and villlages, it seems to me that this type of program would have wide appeal, while it also creates more demand for genealogical services in those countries.