The Global Irish Festival Series encourages members of Ireland’s 70 million strong diasporas to visit their ancestral homeland.

Ireland's diaspora around the world will be celebrated in four fall festivals, to be held in Donegal and Limerick, the Irish government announced on Tuesday.

The Global Irish Festival Series will be overseen by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Fáilte Ireland, with the objective of encouraging members of Ireland’s 70 million strong diasporas to visit their ancestral homeland.

I am delighted to announce the new Global Irish Festival Series. This initiative will enable local communities to further build upon diaspora networks, deepen connections around the world and encourage those abroad to return home. Engaging with the diaspora through new channels, we are able to re-affirm the value of our global Irish diaspora and reconnect them to the county of their heritage,” Diaspora Minister Ciaran Cannon said in a statement.

Funding will be provided “to local and community event organizers which tap into international diaspora networks. The Global Irish Festival Series will be piloted along the Wild Atlantic Way in Limerick and Donegal this October, with €210,000 in funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade granted for the four festivals and events in these areas,” the statement added.

Read more: Putting Ireland's diaspora at the center of our global engagement

The first of the festivals, set for October 7-14 in Limerick, is I.NY, and explores “the deep connection between Ireland New York City.”  Also in Limerick, the Richard Harris International Film Festival takes place from October 25-29, in honor of the famous native actor. 

The first of two Donegal festivals is set for October 20-21 and will focus on genealogy and traditional music.  This festival will remember “our ancestors who traveled to Scotland to work in the 20th century.”  The last of the 2018 festivals, set for October 27-28, will celebrate Donegal’s connection with football.

Fáilte Ireland’s head of festivals Ciara Sugrue said, “The Global Irish Festival Series is a very exciting initiative and we are delighted to work with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to motivate diaspora to reconnect by visiting their home county. The festivals and events supported through the series will help drive tourism to specific locations, including regional areas outside of current hotspots, creating new economic benefits for local communities. As these events take place in the ‘shoulder seasons’ each side of summer, they will also help tourism operators to trade for longer.”

Will you be heading along to one of the festivals? 

The late actor Richard Harris.