A Baroness and member of the House of Lords has urged people of Irish descent to support the development of a diaspora centre at Dún Laoghaire Harbour in Co. Dublin.

In an Irish Times column, Detta O’Cathain wrote about her strong connection to Ireland and the contribution of the Irish diaspora.

“We are a diaspora who can hold our heads high. We contribute to the best of our ability wherever we go.”

The Baroness was born in Limerick and educated in Ireland and began working in Britain in 1966.

“We have always taken the benefits of excellent education to other countries. Our monks enriched people in Europe – educating, caring for the poor and sick, and preaching justice and peace,” O'Cathain wrote.

“More recently the young soldiers of our tiny island bravely undertook peace missions in the Middle East and Africa as members of United Nations peacekeeping forces.”

The diaspora centre will offer a place for people to feel that important sense of belonging, says O'Cathain.

“It will give our grandchildren, and generations far into the future, a place to come when they want to seek out their roots.”

O'Cathain recently hosted a gathering for the Irish diaspora in the House of Lords where plans for the development of a diaspora centre in Dún Laoghaire in Co Dublin were discussed. She urged everyone around the world to get involved.

“We are a diaspora who can hold our heads high. We contribute to the best of our ability wherever we go.”

“We must make every Irish person feel the same. It is appropriate and fundamentally important to celebrate the global imprint our diaspora has made and continues to make.”

The Irish immigrant recalled a visit to Ellis Island which she describes as a “symbol and celebration of American immigration.”

“Learning more about the stories of those who came to make the United States their home illuminated my connection to Ireland. I felt a sense of belonging that the 70 million other members of the Irish diaspora – from throughout the ages – shared with me. That experience has resided with me ever since.”

O'Cathain calls on Irish people around the world to pass on the importance of our DNA to future generations.

“The sense of belonging to a very precious country brightens our lives.”