THE United Irish Counties (UIC) in New York recently launched a website in an effort to "unite the county associations through one centralized hub," said UIC officer and president of the Limerick Association Maurice Landers, who spoke to the Irish Voice about the new site and its function.The idea of a UIC website stemmed from a meeting held at the then Irish Consul General Tim O'Connor's residence in 2006. Members of the UIC, including Landers and then president Mike Keane, sat down with O'Connor and past president of the Sligo Association Bridie O'Reilly to "re-develop" the association and move forward. After several ideas on how to attract new members to the UIC were laid on the table, Landers said the most favorable suggestion was to set up a UIC website. "Everyone thought it was a great idea so we moved on it," said Landers, an independent stockbroker from Limerick.In an age where technology is used for just about everything, Landers felt a website for the UIC was very appropriate. "A website centralizes all your resources and information and it's important for an organization like the UIC to be up to date. It's important to unite the various counties together through this new site," he said.Although the site was only launched on St. Patrick's Day, it has had several hits from people searching for upcoming Irish events and information on their counties. "We have a message board too which allows the different counties to communicate with one another and provide suggestions," said Landers.Landers describes the UIC website as more of a tool than a brochure. "We want something that can be used, especially by the less successful counties that have dwindling members, Limerick being an example of that. They can communicate with one another in an easy and up to date method," he said.Landers said the organization plans to use the website as a tool for creating new ideas, especially when it comes organizing new events. "Our next step is to host joint events with maybe four or five smaller associations, pool our resources and maybe have a membership drive," he said, thinking ahead.The site, which has been created by Declan Prenty, was developed over time, and Landers said he is very grateful to everyone involved in helping it come to fruition. "The completion of the site was also aided with the help of the present Irish Consul General Niall Burgess and the United Irish Counties re-development committee chaired by current UIC president Mike Fogarty," he said.The website will continue to be updated, and Landers is hopeful the various county associations will follow suit and set up their own website. "Although we will have a link to each of the sites, and information about various county events on our events page, the idea going forward is that all the counties will have their own site, that can be accessed through the UIC's," he said.Speaking about the organization's annual feis competitions in June, he said that information about the event is available on the site and it will be update accordingly.Log onto www.uicany.org to find out more about the UIC and events associated with a particular county association.
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