If You’re Irish!

There are allegedly 70 million people of Irish heritage dispersed around the globe.  Find out how you can connect with the people of your ancestors’ parish and the reasons your ancestors  immigrated.

June 26th begins the Week of Welcomes for Ireland Reaching Out

Learn how to connect with your ancestral home right here.

Vol 1 Issue 3 May 2011


Nothing illustrates better the idea behind the IrelandXO project than the recent visit by President Obama, with his ancestral connection to Moneygall. It shows just what could be achieved: the possiblity to link any member of the Irish diaspora with their ancestors and place of origin! Read on for more information about….

  • Week of Welcomes – Just 4 weeks to go so book your place now!
  • Obama’s Irish Roots– Obama’s visit and the IRO trip to Moneygall!
  • Press & Radio Coverage View our RTE1 Nationwide slot, or listen back to Mike Feerick’s Newstalk interview and catch up on some of the other great press we’ve been getting.
  • My Place, My People, My Heritage – The lectures and field trips are completed , now it’s on to the next phase!
  • Fohenagh Memorabilia Morning- A great community event we intend repeating in other parishes.

Please help us to continue to spread the word about the project and use the Forward to a Friend link at the bottom of this email.

Best regards

Dolores O’Shea
Project Administrator

Frequently Asked Questions

We have been receiving an overwhelming amount of email from you over the last weeks and days as we ramp up the project and look forward to our inaugural Week of Welcomes 26th June-2nd July – a week of learning, heritage and fun.Due to the volume of enquiries, we are not in a position right now to answer every individual query. We are a relatively small team, made up almost entirely of volunteers, and the immediate focus is on a successful pilot and rollout of the project in the South-East Galway area.With this FAQ, we’d like to answer the most frequently asked questions.

Obama’s Irish Roots
IRO Visit to Moneygall

The month of May saw the historic and much anticipated visit by President Obama to Ireland. Despite the visit being cut short by the looming ash cloud, the trip was a great success for Ireland both nationally and internationally.

The visit links well with the concept behind the IRO project of reconnecting people to their roots as Obama made an historic visit to Moneygall,  the birth place of his great-great-great grandfather.

As part of this historic week and to meet the people in the local area, the IRO Team visited Moneygall a few days before Obama….we met up with Henry Healy, Obama’s 8th cousin – view more photos on our facebook page.

Fohenagh Memorabilia Morning

St Patrick`s National School Fohenagh & St Teresa`s National School Killure, together with Fohenagh & District Historical Society and the Ireland Reaching Out Pilot Project Team held a Memorabilia Morning in the Fohenagh Community Centre on Sunday, March 20th.

Old memorabilia, historical items from documents, letters, photographs, old coins, farming items and household items were on display.  In attendance was Mike Feerick, project leader of the Ireland Reaching Out Project, and John Joe Conwell, Parish Liaison Officer. He thanked the Fohenagh Team for their enthusiasm and hard work to date. The event was a great success and enjoyed by all in attendance and a credit to the organisers.

It is intended to repeat such events in other parishes and thereby collect valuable historical and genealogical information to help with tracing the local Diaspora.

Week of Welcomes
June 26th – July 2nd

Book NOW online for the inaugural Week of Welcomes!

The first ever Week of Welcomes is an absolutely unique, personal and initimate experience – we will meet and greet you, taking you deep into Ireland, its parishes and townlands. With stops at must-see places, as well as those that are off-the-beaten path, we will entertain you with history, stories, music, and lively discussions about Ireland’s past, present and future.

Itinerary in Brief…Come for the Week or just the Weekend!
Jun 26 Arrive/Meet local hosts, Cloghan Castle
Jun 27 The “this is who you are” Day
Jun 28 Historical & Heritage Tour of local areas
Jun 29 Cliffs of Moher, The Burren, Galway
Jun 30 Heritage Tour/Eve. in Portumna Castle
Jul 01  Activities Day & Ceili/Mock Wedding
Jul 02  Hurling Match/Farewell – Cloghan Castle
Jul 03  Departure Day
The Week of Welcomes includes:
  • passionate, knowledgeable local guides and historians
  • individual assistance to trace your family roots
  • a week of chauffeured and guided touring
  • receptions at Cloghan Castle, Kilchreest & Portumna Castle
  • bus and walking tours of local parishes and the region of South East Galway
  • an exceptional evening of Irish music & craic. No canned music here!
  • a day trip to some of Ireland’s top sites and attractions (Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, Galway city)
  • you will be treated to special traditional Irish music sessions arranged specifically for the tour group
  • visits to castles and ancient sites
You will be met at Dublin or Shannon Airport if required, and taken back for your departure home.  (Where you’ll regale your friends with stories about your terrific experience!). Cost is only €199 for the full week or €99 for a long weekend. Sign up now via our online booking form (you’ll also find a link to acommodation options here) …. Need more information? See our detailed brochure here!

We hope you can make the event this year and we look forward to welcoming you for what we promise will be a visit to remember. If you can’t join us this year, mark the date for next year’s Week of Welcomes 2012 taking place from June 24th-Jul 1st!

Radio & TV Coverage

Mar-May 2011

RTE1 Nationswide Special on the Obama visit and the Week of Welcomes
RTE1 Television – 20th May

‘Global Irish to be united parishes by parish’ – Morning Ireland News Item
RTE 1 Radio – 28th April

David McWilliams on the Marian Finucane Show
RTE1 Radio – 26th March

Print & Online Coverage

Diaspora’s ‘soft power’ will help fuel our Future

by David McWilliams, Irish Independent, May 25th

America Invited Back to Its Roots
by Gabrielle Monaghan, The Sunday Times, May 22nd

Businessman Hoping to Reconnect Diaspora to Home
Irish Post, March 17th

The invite that we should all be clamouring to send
by David McWilliams, Irish Independent, March 16th

Ireland Reaches Out to Emigrants Worldwide
The New York Irish Emigrant, online

Ireland invites descendants home to a very special ‘Week of Welcomes
Irish Central, online

Lectures and Tours A Great Success
My People, My Place, My Heritage

Thanks to funding from the Galway County Council and Galway Heritage Forum, we have now completed a training programme of 13 lectures which covered a range of topics such as local heritage, genealogy, history and folklore. The lectures were offered to the 46 parishes and sub-parishes that form the IRO south-east Galway Diaspora Pilot Project area.

In additon to the 13 lectures two Field Trips were also organised to visit some of the key local heritage sites. The coach tours were free of charge and very well attended. See more photos from the trips on our Facebook page.

The next phase will see the production of a series of training packs designed to help you research and build your own family tree as well as read and interpret the local landscap
e – watch this space!


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