The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Fáilte Ireland launch initiative to harness diaspora links for the benefit of local and community tourism in Ireland.
Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciaran Cannon, today announced the launch of the new Global Irish Festival Series, a joint initiative between the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Fáilte Ireland, which aims to encourage our diaspora to return home to visit Ireland.
Announcing the Global Irish Festival Series, Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciaran Cannon, said:
“We are delighted to announce the new Global Irish Festival Series, an initiative which will enable local communities to further build upon diaspora networks, deepening connections around the world and encouraging those abroad to return home. By improving engagement with the diaspora through new channels, we hope they will feel affirmed and valued as a part of the global Irish diaspora, and in particular, connected to the county of their heritage.”
The new festival series will provide funding and support, through the relevant local authorities, to local and community event organisers for events which tap into international diaspora networks to increase overseas visitors. 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.
In Limerick, the Global Irish Festival Series is supporting I.NY which runs from 7th to 14th October, exploring the deep connection between Ireland and New York City and the Richard Harris International Film Festival which takes place from 25th to 29th October, marking the life and works of Limerick’s most famous actor. In Donegal, the initiative is supporting a Genealogy and Traditional Music Weekend which runs from 20th to 21st October, remembering our ancestors who travelled to Scotland to work in the twentieth century and an Inter-generational Sporting Weekend which takes place from 27th to 28th October, celebrating Donegal’s connection with football.
Welcoming the festival series, Mayor of Limerick, Cllr James Collins, said that the new Global Irish Festival Series is the perfect opportunity for visitors to experience Limerick as the Gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way and for the Limerick diaspora to connect with home:
“During the entire month, Limerick will be en fête with a huge entertainment programme from I.NY and the Richard Harris Film Festival as we extend an invitation to friends and family from Limerick, Ireland and around the world to come and join us. The Limerick diaspora may extend up to 6m people worldwide and we’re extending a warm Céad Míle Fáilte to our people across the world to come home, enjoy the festivities and experience Limerick which is still on a high after our All Ireland Hurling success. This is a great opportunity for visitors to experience Limerick and all that it has to offer.”
Commenting on the new festival series and its potential to grow tourism in the regions outside of high season Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin, said:
“The Global Irish Festival Series is the perfect way to attract overseas visitors and support local communities and we look forward to welcoming our diaspora home to enjoy these great festivals and events this autumn.”
Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Festivals, Ciara Sugrue, said:
“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 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.”
The Global Irish Festival Series is also being launched in the US this September at the Consulate General of Ireland in New York in partnership with Tourism Ireland.
To find out more about the Global Irish Festival Series, see www.wildatlanticway.com/globalirish.
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