Deputy Mayor of County Cork Cllr Kevin Conway launched the Pilot Community Diaspora Initiative, which is a colloboration between Cork County Council, Cork Foundation and Ireland Reaching Out. The aim of the project is to connect Cork parishes with their global Diaspora, creating visibility for their individual localities while building relationships with descendants of these communities from all over the world.
Speaking at the launch, Deputy Mayor Conway said ‘This is a wonderful opportunity for our Cork parishes to discover their descendants, encourage them to visit while also significantly increasing international awareness of these towns in the first instance. I am delighted to see Cork County Council supporting the Cork Foundation and Ireland Reaching Out with the launch of this innovating and exciting enterprise.’
A number of pilot parishes have confirmed their participation in the Community Diaspora, including Belgooley/Riverstick, Blarney, Castlemartyr, Castletownshend, Clonakilty, Drimoleague, Drinagh, Killeagh/Inch, Passage West, Millstreet, Skibbereen. The Community Diaspora Initiative will build upon the experiences of the pilot parishes and roll out the opportunity for all Cork County parishes to get involved, offering everyone the prospect of tracing their roots to their ancestral home.
Áine Collins, Chairperson of Cork Foundation expressed great enthusiasm with this partnership between Cork Foundation, Cork County Council and Ireland Reaching Out, ‘This is a great opportunity to connect our Irish – Cork community abroad and at home. Our Irish community abroad is a national asset which we are delighted to be connecting to their ancestral place.’
Mike Feerick, Founder and Chairperson of Ireland Reaching Out said, ‘The Cork Diaspora is Ireland largest Diaspora. More people left our shores from the County of Cork. As a result, Cork has a larger Diaspora today than any other County. As Ireland Reaching Out develops as the National Diaspora Programme, getting it active on the ground in Cork is hugely important. We are delighted to partner with Cork County Council and the Cork Foundation. Together with can achieve something extraordinary.’
Nicola Radley, Senior Executive Officer Cork County Council also spoke about this exciting and innovative partnership with the Cork Foundation and Ireland Reaching Out, ‘We have a very strong record, and place huge importance, in citizen engagement and facilitating our citizens. We now very much look forward to engaging with Corkonians the world over. Our intention is to first engage with each of our pilot communities and to, in time replicate their success in each and every community in County Cork
Deputy Mayor Conway went on to say, ‘With so many Cork County parishes already included in the Community Diaspora I am in no doubt sure that this will be a highly successful and engaging project that will deliver real and lasting benefits, to the people of Cork and to our Cork Diaspora. Parishes from North and South across the County are represented enabling the Cork Diaspora to trace their home parishes and we will offer all a Cork Céad Míle Fáilte!’
Padraic Vallely, CEO Cork Foundation commented ‘We are delighted to partner with Cork County Council on this unique volunteer driven Diaspora strategy. This is a fantastic chance to reach out to the Irish community abroad and promote the parishes of Cork County, the stories and the heritage in each parish. If you want to get your parish involved, please contact email@example.com