Saturday, 29 August, 2015
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The Weekend of Welcomes event was an integral part of the Ireland XO pilot programme and during that period it formed lifelong connections between returning Irish Diaspora and their ancestral parish.

In many cases Week of Welcome events have turned into individual Meet and Greet visits where people have connected on the Ireland XO Message Board. Having learned about their ancestors, many plan a trip home. Above all, the Weekend of Welcomes builds on this paper trail of researching the records. Where events are planned, they can last a day or longer and it is an opportunity for people of Irish heritage to explore their past and connect with the people and places of their forefathers. It is an opportunity for cultural renewal and discovery with an emphasis on enjoyment and fun. Tulla, Co. Clare are holding their Weekend of Welcomes on 26th-28th August 2016. Events include a genealogy workshop, hillfort walk, lecture and music.

Due to the work involved in planning and arranging these events, Ireland XO has decided to review how they will be run. Even if there isn't an event planned in your parish don’t worry – no matter what time of the year you visit, there will be local volunteers here to answer your questions on our Message Board. Where possible these volunteers will meet with any returning parish Diaspora.

Read about Julie Fennell's experience when she came to visit her ancestor's home

What people say about Ireland Reaching Out Weekends of Welcomes

“If this project goes forward and expands to other counties I would be most interested in County Kerry and County Louth.  We will likely also visit Galway again given that we have so many new friends there.”

Ed and Marge O’Connor, Massachussetts, USA with a connection to Gort

"Wonderful!  We will be coming back for more, and have this one tucked away with our precious memories.  

We feel we learned a lot, but even more important, met some interesting people and made some good friends."

 Vin & Ted Flynn, Australia with a connection to Kiltartan

"It’s hard to describe really. I never expected to find the location, or much less the remains of the house of my fore bearers. I’ve reached the end of a long journey. It’s very, very special."

James (Jim) Kelly, USA

Would you like to know if your parish is having a Weekend of Welcomes?  

Just send an email to, stating the parish that you are interested in, and we will get back to you.