Tipperary ‘reaches out’ to Diaspora

Ireland Reaching Out Volunteer team, Templemore who were presented with their NTLP-Ireland Reaching Out Certificates of Achievement by Jim Finn, Chairman, North Tipperary LEADER Partnership and Henry Healy, Community Activation Leader, Ireland Reaching Out; Front: Bridget Jones, Mary dEstelle Roe, Frances Maxwell, Maura Maher, Ester O Brien. Back: Sean Fogarty, Clare Bohan, Eileen Hassett, Robert Stapleton, Henry Healy, Jim Finn, Donal O Regan and Tom Cullagh.
The success of the Ireland Reaching Out initiative was underlined this week with the presentation of certificates to over 120 local volunteers.

The success of the Ireland Reaching Out initiative was underlined this week with the presentation of certificates to over 120 local volunteers.

The volunteers have undergone specialised training which has the potential to transform the future of tourism in the county.

Ireland Reaching Out (Ireland XO) was established to help connect people of Irish heritage aboard to the place where they or their ancestors originated. It’s based on a simple idea; instead of waiting for people of Irish descent to trace their roots, the volunteers go the other way. Working through voluntary effort at a townland, village and parish level in Ireland, Ireland XO identifies who left those areas, and traces them and their descendants worldwide. IrelandXO offers a free service and it is a not-for-profit organisation.

At local level, North Tipperary LEADER Partnership organised specialised training through which community volunteers were taught the key skills in reaching out to the diaspora -genealogy, folklore, oral history, natural heritage, landscape and arts together with social media and event management.

Ireland XO Animator with NTLP, Bernadette Quinlan, sees the training as “a bedrock for the integration of our diaspora in community tourism and social development initiatives under the Rural Development Programme.”

NTLP Chairperson, Jim Finn, paid tribute to the the commitment of all the participants who undertook and earned their certificates in the Ireland Reaching Out – TRACING My People, My Place, My Heritage Training Initiative

“Ireland XO has had a huge take-up in North Tipperary and we can expect long-term benefits from the programme, especially in the thirty parishes who have taken part so far.”

Members of the parishes from Thurles, Kilvenogue, Templemore, Cormacstown, Moyne-Templetuohy, Boherlahann-Dualla and Borrisoleigh were present as part of the special presentation of certificates to mark the conclusion of the programme.

The Thurles IRO group under the direction of parish liaison officers Jim Fogarty and Paddy Loughnane have organised a Thurles based IRO group where surrounding parishes will meet monthly at the Anner Hotel, Thurles. The Museum of Rural Heritage in Cormackstown, Thurles, is open for pre-booked tours led by Patrick Slattery, Curator, and member of the Ireland Reaching Out Volunteer network for North Tipperary.

For further information please contact Henry Healy: email:info@irelandXO.com Telephone: 091 842013. www.IrelandXO.com.

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