Bring Them All Back Home
‘Ireland Reaching Out’ is a pilot project that aims to reconnect all 70 million Irish people worldwide with their ancestral homeland.
Ed, Margaret and the rest of the visitors have a packed schedule ahead of them for the rest of the week. There are history lectures telling of what Ireland once was. There are genealogy sessions. There are trips to the various parishes the visitors hail from. There are sightseeing tours and cultural excursions.
“We want to tell them all about this part of Ireland, what it once was and what it is today,” says Mike Feerick. “These people are not just anybody. They are our relatives. We are part of them and they are connected to us. Let’s explore the bonds that unite and define us.”
Although the week has only just begun, it’s clear it’s already a success. Mike already has more than 200 people signed up for next year’s “Week of Welcomes,” and plans are afoot to roll the project out on a nationwide basis, with the support of Fáilte Ireland, the country’s tourism body.
But Mike has plans to develop it even further. It’s not just going to be a week of events. There will be permanent teams in parishes all over the country that will be available to help people who want to learn more about their heritage.
“People will be there to welcome you when you arrive,” says Mike. “It’s all about building lifelong connections.”
He hopes these connections will play a central part in Ireland’s future. “I’d like to see a day when all state boards were obliged to have a member of the diaspora,” he says. “I’d like to see a time when Ireland didn’t just focus on the Irish on our island but on the Irish worldwide. I want to connect people and reunify us all. Parish by parish, townland by townland, we’re starting here.”
To find out more about the Week of Welcomes and Ireland Reaching Out, visit www.irelandxo.com
- Gay wedding cakes latest target of anti-gay...
- The New York Times questions Ireland’s highly-p
- Racist incidents in Ireland up by 85 percent...
- An open letter in strong defence of capitalism.
- Offensive NFL sign outside restaurant just...
- No Irish prosecution for man named as world’s...
- Bah! Humbug! The ten worst things about Christm
- Spanish judge slams Ryanair’s sexist air...
- Irish radio presenter suspended after anti-Isra
- Nelson Mandela was against IRA decommissioning.