Thursday, 31 January 2013


Vol 2 Issue 1 January 2013

Welcome to our first 2013 newsletter featuring all the latest news on Ireland XO!

In this issue:

  • Ireland XO is welcomed to Virginia and DC by new volunteers
  • Animator Training and Information Day takes place in Loughrea
  • Lady writers are invited back to Gort! 
  • See our List of New Staff, Parish Administrators & International Volunteers
  • Check out our Website!
Please spread the word about the programme by sending this newsletter on to others whom you think may be interested so they can keep up-to-date with Ireland XO developments.

Best regards
Ireland XO Team

Ireland Reaching Out - News and Events
Washington DC Ireland XO volunteers hosts welcome reception for Henry Healy
Henry Healy from Ireland XO HQ attended a welcome reception by the Virginia Ireland XO volunteers this week.  Don Drach & Pat Reilly two Ireland XO volunteers arranged a meeting for interested parties to come and 

assist in promoting and rolling out our national diaspora project in DC & Virginia! The event was held in James Hobans Bar in Dupont Circle in DC. The Irish Embassy in the US was also represented by Deirdre Burke. The volunteers are organising community events and contacting local genealogy societies and Irish-American organistions who are interested in researching their place of origin.  If you would like to volunteer in your area, please contact us by email here.

Animator session in Galway sets the actions for 2013 and beyond!
Building on the success of last two years the Ireland XO programme had a training and information day event in the Loughrea Spa & Hotel last Wednesday, Jan 16th with special guest: David McWilliams. The day consisted of a short review of the Ireland XO programme and welcoming and training the new Ireland XO animators. Much progress has been made in the last 2 years. To round off the day's proceedings, David McWilliams addressed the meeting with some reflections on the programmes progress and some lighter comments on the Irish economy. Also attending the meeting were representatives from parish communities across Ireland, including state agencies, LEADER representatives, Councilor's, newly appointed animators for the Ireland XO programme, Cultural Heritage and Tourism Consultant's, Shannon development, Western development Commission, Clan connections, Heritage groups, Galway Rural Development, representatives from County Councils who have expressed interest in launching Ireland XO in their areas. Parishes from the counties of Mayo, Carlow, Kerry, Limerick and Donegal among other counties were well represented. Anyone with an interest in their community, its history, tourism, business or genealogy, is encouraged to get involved and learn more about the programme. 

Photo 1: Ireland Reaching Out Team. Back row: (l to r) Rory Shaughnessy, John Joe Conwell and Henry Healy.  Front Row: (l to r) Laura Phelan, Paula Kennedy, David McWilliams, Cynthia O Connor and Mary Shaughnessy

Photo 2: Animators for IrelandXO. Back Row: (l to r) Patrick Killeen, North Tipperary, Siobhan King, Shannon Development and Suzanne Rowley, Limerick.  Front Row: (l to r) Grace Fox, Cork South and East, Dolores O Shea, Offaly, David McWilliams, Guest Speaker, Bernadette Quinlan, North Tipperary and Amanda Slattery, Ballyhoura.

Lady writers are invited back to Gort in 2013!
Gort, Coole Park and Kiltartan Gregory Museum will host a Lady Writers event from 3rd - 7th October 2013. Each year since 1995  an Autumn Gathering has been held in Coole Park, Gort  to honour the memory of Lady Augusta Gregory (1852-1932). The cream of world speakers have contributed to the continued success of the weekend.   Lady Gregory  was  one of the co-founders of the Abbey Theatre for which she wrote many plays. She contributed enormously to the Irish Literary Renaissance  and to the collecting of folklore  in South Galway. She  fostered the genius of W.B.Yeats . Poets, artists, playwrights  and writers of every genre found a welcome in Coole Park. Since it opened officially in 1996, the Kiltartan Gregory Museum has welcomed thousands of visitors, many of whom discovered their roots in South Galway. The members of the Kiltartan Gregory Cultural Society have gained wide experience in meeting and greeting people from all over the world. They have  gained national and international recognition  in the Ireland Reaching Out  programme for the past two years.
The Directors of the  Autumn Gathering at Coole  and the Kiltartan Gregory Cultural Society have combined this year  to invite women writers worldwide, but  particularly those of Irish descent, to a weekend in South  Galway. A large database is being prepared by the two groups who already have contacts all over the globe. In fact, the weekend is not confined to the ladies.  Men will also get a cead mile failte! 
A programme is being finalised which will be of interests to poets, novelists, playwrights, short story writers and indeed writers of all genres.  The official genealogist of Ireland Reaching Out has kindly agreed  to attend the Gathering and give guidelines to those searching for their Irish roots. Local musical and drama groups will showcase their talent.  Tours will also take place, with special emphasis on the Lady Gregory Yeats Trail, the website of which is about to be seen online.For further information, please contact Rena McAllen via email here  or +353 (0) 86 8252164.

New Website is now live! Please check it out
We are working on a new and improved website over the next 12 months. A new look and feel to the site (phase one) is now available. Please bear with us while we are continuing to work on this in phase two and three which will improve the functionality of the site. The new site looks great and we are very excited to have an improved look and feel to the whole site. We have the same website address at Click to take a look now! Feel free to send us feedback here!

New Staff in uur HQ Offices!
As we progress and grow, we have new staff to assist with the National Roll out of Ireland Reaching Out!  Welcome to Josephine Harrison, Sharon O'Neill and Emma Carthy this month.  Both Josephine and Sharon are working hard on the website and developing parish profiles and pages while Emma joins the Genealogy team to assist in queries and creating resources. 

New Parish Administrators 
We have new parish administrators this month as well.  Make sure your civil parish has a profile on our website here. If you want to volunteer to be a parish administrator for your own parish or a number of parishes please reply to this email here

Pat O'Halloran in St Marys, Meath
Mary O'Grady in Knockainey, Limerick
Marie Costello in Moore, Roscommon
Oliver Murphy in Toomore, Mayo
Eddie Cantwell in Clonea, Waterford
Eddie Cantwell in Kilgobnet, Waterford
Karl Sachartschuk in Knockainey, Limerick
Caroline Kilker in Kilmore, Mayo
Jim Crabtree in Camus, Tyrone
Gerry Rossiter in Killimor-Bullogue, Galway
Ann Barrett in Macroom, Cork
Christine Flood in Swords, Dublin
Ann Carroll  in Clonalvy, Meath
Linda Kearney in Bray, Wicklow
Maura Rhatigan in Belclare, Galway
Beatrice Ammon in County Mayo
Andrea in Finglas, Dublin
Ann Carroll Naul Dublin
Andrea St Pauls Dublin
Patricia McInerney Ennis Clare
Maureen Neff Thornton Prior  Kerry
James Mcnamara Feakle Clare
Paul Geary County Galway, Leitrim, Sligo and Roscommon
Bernie O'Neil Kilmihil  Clare
New International Volunteers
We have new volunteers overseas who are working at promoting Ireland Reaching Out.  We are always recruiting people to assist us in promoting Ireland XO, so if you are in the USA, UK, Australia, Canada etc please assist us. If you are interested in volunteering from abroad please contact us here.

Bernadette Zappal - Florida - USA
Mary Ellen Franks-Greer - Missouri - USA
Patrick Reilly - Washington DC - USA
Ed O Connor - MA - USA
Bill Prendergast - Oregon - USA
Siobhan O Neill - Australia
Margaret Ann Donnelly - USA - Michigan
Elizabeth Khan - USA - New Jersey
Mary Cooper - British Columbia - Canada
Angela McGrath - Saskatchewan - Canada
Kerr Mitzi - California - USA

Donate to Ireland Reaching Out!
We are a not for profit organisation relying on sponsorship and donations from individuals and businesses all around the world. Your donations will be invaluable to the success and future of the programme at a truly national and global scale. This FREE service will utilise funds to spread the word about Ireland Reaching Out, provide resources and training and manage the large network of volunteers whose purpose is to assist all diaspora in the search for their ancestral parish.

Promote Ireland Reaching Out in your area!We are delighted to make available brochures and accompanying posters to market the Ireland Reaching Out programme to parish communities in Ireland and the Irish diaspora around the world. If you would like pdf copies please email us here

The Gathering 2013 - Get involved!
Ireland Reaching Out is partnering with the "The Gathering Ireland 2013" inviting anyone with a connection to Ireland to come and visit.  Have a look at the Gathering website and post your events online here

Our mailing address is:
Ireland Reaching Out
Michael Cusack House
25, Dunkellin Street
Loughrea, Co. Galway -

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