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Ireland Showcasing its Soft Power on the global stage

Simon Haigh
01 March 2023
Simon Haigh, Agent,
Brand Finance Ireland

The Republic of Ireland is a small country with a population of just over five million. But it has a diaspora of 80 million people with Irish heritage scattered across the globe, particularly concentrated in the United Kingdom, Australia, United States of America, Canada, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and across Europe. 

Soon after our 2023 Global Soft Power Summit is St Patrick’s Day. Tourism Ireland, with the support of Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs, helps to turn the world green on March 17 every year. Ireland’s ministers take part in a long-held Irish custom - they are sent to all corners of the globe to evangelise Ireland on the world stage – a perfect opportunity for global reach.  Several hundred buildings in dozens of countries are illuminated in the green of Ireland on this special day for Ireland.

While overseas, Ireland’s ministers will engage with their diaspora and host functions for the travel trade – all of which helps to amplify Ireland’s story and exercises the Soft Power of Ireland. This also gives the whole world a chance to stop and think all things Ireland and the Irish – not an unpleasant opportunity, with Brand Finance’s Soft Power research finding that the people of Ireland are considered to be among the most charitable, generous and fun. 


As we said in our 2022 Global Soft Power Index: “Ireland has a long history of global flows of people, knowledge and money. There are thousands of Irish organisations around the world connecting back to Ireland while enabling cross-cultural interchanges. Ireland constantly develops relationships around the world whether it be for business, sport, culture, education, tourism or other activity. Ireland is seen as a world leader in these spaces.” 

It is no surprise that Ireland has consolidated its position in the top 30 of national Soft Power rankings, rising one place to 29th place this year. Given the current global geo-political challenges, Ireland’s role as a global leader for diaspora engagement and cross-cultural co-operation remains clear and extremely strong. Ireland’s Soft Power continues to be seen as a benchmark Soft Power for diaspora engagement and better cultural understanding. The world loves to turn green on March 17 each year. 

About the Author

Simon Haigh
Brand Finance Ireland

With over 26 years of international experience, Simon has a history of C-suite/executive roles with Dell, BHP, Xilinx, NANA and leading global law firms in US, Europe, Australia and Asia Pacific.A quarter of a century of international executive experience has placed Simon in a unique position to help organisations & executives improve their performance through enhanced strategic direction, deal making, corporate and brand development, while utilising world renowned coaching methodology.As a Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centred Executive Coach, Simon combines expertise across technology, professional services, tourism and hospitality, resources/utilities, consumer products, local government and not for profit sectors.As a consultant and thought leader, Simon helps forward thinkers succeed through his global business acceleration company GCM Advisory and it’s sister entity He also specialises in strategy, transformational change and business improvement, governance, risk and assurance and corporate restructuring solutions across a range of sectors and multi jurisdictions, as well as supporting boards and leadership to achieve their goals.