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Ireland Reaching Out (2)

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

Ireland Reaching Out is a national diaspora engagement programme whose aim is to link the Irish diaspora back to their homeplace of origin in Ireland. It is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, under the Emigrant Support Programme, and the Heritage Council of Ireland.

This non-profit programme ( covers all 32 counties on the island of Ireland and operates on a parish by parish basis, helping people to research their Irish roots.

The project is based on a very simple idea: Instead of waiting for people of Irish heritage to trace their roots, Ireland Reaching Out Volunteers invite descendants of the area to share their stories and to connect with the local community living there today. The programme was founded in 2009 by Mike Feerick. In 2011 the programme held their first Week of Welcomes and the New York Times covered the event.

The programme is an opportunity to boost tourism and bring economic benefit to the area. In 2017 Ireland Reaching Out volunteers assisted 277 different diaspora groups planning visits to Ireland, with the aim of welcoming the returning descendants into their ancestors' place of origin.

In June 2015, Minister for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan launched a new website for Ireland Reaching Out. In 2017 Ireland Reaching Out launched the XO Chronicles, an interactive way of documenting the people, places and historical events of every civil parish in Ireland.

Ireland Reaching Out has circa 300 volunteers and over 100,000 members worldwide (2018).

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