Thursday, 17 March, 2022
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“One of the largest and most robust surveys of the views of Irish-Americans to date”

The survey was carried out by Ireland Reaching Out in collaboration with researchers at the Clinton Institute, University College Dublin.

Next Generation Irish America Survey Results

March 17th, 2022, Galway, Ireland. A new survey of Irish Americans underlines both their growing distance from Ireland and the strong sense of identity and ties retained by many. The survey was conducted by Ireland Reaching Out in collaboration with researchers at the Clinton Institute, University College Dublin. According to Professor Liam Kennedy, UCD Clinton Institute, the survey is one of the largest and most robust surveys of the views of Irish Americans to date. The survey which is ongoing has 1,785 full responses to date.

Among the results of the detailed survey, results of which can be viewed in full here, are the following:

  • The extent to which Irish Americans identify as Irish or with their Irishness
  • The degree to which Irish American respondents can connect through genealogy to Ireland.
  • How Irish Americans relate to and engage with their Irishness today
  • Irish American political preferences and viewpoints
  • Support for the Irish Peace Process and the Good Friday Agreement
  • Intentions to visit Ireland and reasons for doing so.
  • Activities of Interest with respect to visiting Ireland

Speaking on the publication of the report, Ireland Reaching Out Founder Mike Feerick stated that "The survey confirms the continuing distancing of Irish-America from Ireland with over 65% of respondents stating that they are 3 generations removed from the country. With fewer living Irish Americans having Irish-grandparents, or even great-grandparents, Irish government policy must embrace ways to reconnect those of Irish heritage, with Irish culture and with Ireland, often for the very first time.

We need to help the tens of millions of Irish-Americans who are of Irish descent, who are unconnected to any type of Irish cultural celebration in the United States with their genealogical links to Ireland. We can do this using modern technologies, harnessing the advantages we already have. For instance, many hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Irish Americans connect with Irish government websites each year, however we rarely seek to collect data such as email addresses, generously offered to us, which would give us the means to identify and connect with those who might wish to learn more about and be part of Ireland and Irish culture. Our approach here seriously needs to change”

The interest of Irish Americans to come to Ireland to trace their roots has never been stronger with Ireland Reaching Out volunteers experiencing a tidal wave of interest in visiting Ireland this year and next following the Covid pandemic which pent up demand for several years. Many people across the world when isolating during Covid spent time researching their family tree. Ireland Reaching Out, the Dept of Foreign Affairs funded charity, organises volunteers across Ireland, north and south, enabling returning Irish Diaspora to find their villages and townlands of origin across Ireland.

Commenting on the results, Denise O’Leary, Programme Coordinator for Ireland Reaching Out stated that “Ireland XO volunteers meet with those returning to Ireland with family links for the first time and helps them find the houses their people were born in, walk the land their people farmed before they went to America, find the graves of ancestors and if possible, to meet living relatives in Ireland. The organisation, despite having many hundreds of active volunteers across Ireland is overwhelmed this year. The wonderful work Ireland Reaching Out does is unique. It creates lasting bonds between rural communities in Ireland and the Irish Diaspora abroad - and it is highly scalable It offers the opportunity to mobilise the motherload of Irish Diaspora. the many millions of Irish Americans unconnected to Ireland like never before"

Read More

  • You can view our survey here
  • Read Professor Kennedy's analysis and see the results of the survey here
  • See Irish Times article on report here


We hope you have found the information we have shared helpful. While you are here, we have a small favour to ask. Ireland Reaching Out is a non-profit organisation that relies on public funding and donations to ensure a completely free family history advisory service to anyone of Irish heritage who needs help connecting with their Irish place of origin. If you would like to support our mission, please click on the donate button and make a contribution. Any amount, big or small, is appreciated and makes a difference.