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Niall O'Dowd, Founder of IrishCentral.com, at the site's Sunday night launch Photo by: Elizabeth Osder

Thanks to you, IrishCentral.com is a Day One success!

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Niall O'Dowd, Founder of IrishCentral.com, at the site's Sunday night launch Photo by: Elizabeth Osder

Thanks to you, IrishCentral.com had the happiest St. Patrick’s Day we could have imagined.

On our very first day as the Web site about everything Irish for everyone Irish, over 250,000 of you came by to say hello, generating millions of hits to our new servers. Tens of thousands of you registered to become members, posted comments and became a real part of the IrishCentral.com community.

We are grateful to all of you beyond any words.

This “cold start” launch of a previously unknown Web site is one for the record books. No other Irish-related site, no matter how long it has been established, has ever had results like you gave us – even on their best days! It’s thrilling to see the actual evidence of what we always believed in our hearts: that while some sites have to search for an audience, we have had an audience searching for a Web site.

We’re also gratified that we were able to deliver a solid performance for our charter advertisers: Aer Lingus, Tourism Ireland, CIE Tours, Mutual of America, the Fitzpatrick Hotel Group, Dooley Car Rental, and Shannon Region, among others. Just in one day, IrishCentral.com served millions of ad impressions to our new family of readers. We know that soon, many more advertisers will see that we can deliver a pre-sold, pre-qualified audience of superior demographics that no other website can promise.

IrishCentral.com’s intense first-day news coverage and insight into the Irish World also drew the attention of many of our colleagues on the Web and in print: Yahoo!, The New York Times, People.com, PaidContent.org, The Associated Press, Gawker.com, USmagazine.com, OK.com, and others too numerous to mention. We thank them all for taking us seriously from Day One as an authoritative unique news source of all things Irish.

We are also grateful to the many dignitaries and well-wishers who came to our “official” launch Sunday night at the palatial American Irish Historical Society, which coincided with the first-ever gathering of our Global 100 Irish. I am especially thankful to Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Brian Cowen, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, and the many stars of stage and screen like Roma Downey who traveled thousands of collective miles to join us for this special night.

We have plenty of work to do to fully deserve an audience that gave us such a terrific start in life, and we want to hear from each and every one of you as we go along. We want you to upload your videos and photos, we want you to comment on our articles and blogs – we want IrishCentral.com to be “powered by you.”

And if you have an Irish Web site or blog, we’re interested in joining forces with you to form a mighty network of voices, whether from Ireland, America, Canada, Australia, Argentina – anywhere that we Irish have planted our seed over the centuries, a seed that has given the world 70 million people of Irish ancestry.

To every one of the hundreds of thousands of  visitors who came to us yesterday, and those joining us for the first time, you have my heartfelt thanks.

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