The founder of Erin's Call says the pro-bono service has been inundated with enquiries since launching earlier month.

Erin's Call, which seeks to reunite Irish emigrants with their families, officially launched this month on March 17, St. Patrick's Day.

“We are delighted to launch the Erin’s Call website on a day that is celebrated worldwide by the Irish community and diaspora," Pádraic Grennan, CEO of Erin International and founder of the Erin’s Call initiative, said in a statement.

"The website will serve as a means whereby members of the Irish diaspora worldwide can log requests to trace long-lost family or next of kin.

“We hope that the website will become a useful resource for Irish families around the world who have lost contact with loved ones, and who wish to reconnect”, said Padraic.

“We would encourage anyone interested in availing of our service to contact us through the site."

Erin's Call is a pro-bono offshoot of Erin International, a service that traces beneficiaries and next of kin.

The idea for Erin’s Call came about after the team at Erin International worked on several high-profile cases where next of kin needed to be traced.

One such case was that of an Irish-born man John Joseph Gill, who passed away in the UK with no known next of kin. An appeal was placed by the local council to trace Gill’s next of kin, and it was not until Erin International became involved that close kin were found.

Another similar case was that of Nicholas and Hilary Smith, an elderly couple who passed away in Co Tipperary. Their remains lay undiscovered at their home for almost 18 months, and when an appeal was placed by Gardai and Interpol, Erin International located the nearest next of kin.

“Given our specialist skillset, we have decided to launch this initiative to help Irish families and members of the diaspora worldwide,” Grennan said.

“We have seen first-hand the impact our service offering can have on peoples’ lives, and Erin’s Call is a way for us to build on those past successes and continue helping where we can."

Grennan told RTÉ Radio on Wednesday: "I have an interest in the Irish diaspora myself, I'm a former director or trustee of Safe Home Ireland which provides support service to Irish emigrants overseas who are looking to return home. So I have a background with the diaspora.

"Obviously with the type of work that we do and the expertise that we have, we felt this service could be a real benefit to members of the diaspora overseas who are destitute, maybe don't have any family to look after them, don't have the know-how or the means to either find their family or make their way back home in the latter stages of their life.

"It is a pro-bono initiative and we hope to link in with all of the Irish emigrant support services both in Ireland and overseas just to raise awareness that this service exists and we'll do it for free."

Grennan did note that Erin's Call will respect the privacy of those emigrants who might not want to be found.

"We have to respect the privacy of the person that we're trying to find.

"What we would say is when we find, or if we find that individual, obviously we would explain why we're making contact and ask them if they're happy for us then to provide that person's contact details to our client.

"But our clients are made aware at the outset, if it's a no-no, that's the end of the process as far as we're concerned, we don't pass over the information."

Grennan told IrishCentral on Wednesday that Erin's Call has been "inundated" with enquiries following coverage of the service in Irish media, which he says reinforces his belief that the service is "badly needed."

Grennan further told IrishCentral on Wednesday that while the service is "100% pro-bono," Erin's Call may have to "be selective on what cases we take on and that we can manage effectively using the resources we have."