The government is proposing that US students of Irish heritage get free trips to Ireland. The idea is that the program would encourage a strong connection with Ireland.

The Irish Times reports that Minister for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan has outlined proposals for “an orientation course on what it is to be Irish” for young people with a connection to Ireland, “similar to the Israel Taglit-Birthright scheme which has seen more than 400,000 young Jewish people visit Israel over the past 15 years.”

The idea was first framed by Irish American leaders and is part of a broader package that also addresses issues such a emigrant voting rights.

At the moment the proposal is still in early stages and it is unclear what criteria would be used in selecting the relevant students or the program they would follow.

If successful it would create a strong link with the Irish diaspora in the US.

What do you think? Is this a good idea?