Harsh treatment of Irish returning to live in Ireland

Huge problems over motor insurance cover, driving licences and mortgages.

Sligo News File.

Irish families returning to live in Ireland are in for a raw deal.

Daragh O’Brien TD

The issue of the shocking treatment has been raised in the Dail where a TD has highlighted problems they’re encountering in their interaction with financial and other bodies.

Daragh O’Brien said the vast majority of the people who returned have among other things encountered severe difficulties in getting car insurance. They are, he said, “rated on the basis that their previous driving experience in places such as Canada is not taken into account and their previous driving record in Ireland, including no-claims bonus, is all set aside.”

Most returning emigrants are also “now told there is a postponement period of 12 months within which they will get no health cover… and most of them cannot transfer their health cover to Ireland.”

Trinity educated Galway East TD Ciarán Cannon is the Fine Gael Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development since June 2017.

Simon Coveney,
Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said the Government is “working to ensure that moving or returning to Ireland is as easy as possible” for those arriving back.

He said, “In addition to addressing potential barriers, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is always looking for new and innovative ways to assist Irish people abroad and those returning.

“To support returning emigrants in a practical way, the Department has established Back for Business, a mentoring programme for returning emigrants to help them set up business in Ireland and contribute fully to local communities and economies across the country. This pilot programme is currently underway and will be reviewed on completion. I know there are some other practical issues regarding driving licences, for example, and we are seeking to come up with solutions to address those issues.”

Ciaran Canon TD, Minister of State for the Diaspora 

O’Brien put it to Coveney that he needed to meet with Irish Banking Federation “because people applying for a mortgage are now asked by Bank of Ireland, for example, to provide a P60 for the previous year’s earnings.

“Banks will not accept foreign revenue documents from returned emigrants who were in Canada, the United States or other countries,” he said.