The Irish Government has proclaimed 2013 as the year when members of the Irish global diaspora will be invited to visit the land of their ancestors. Ireland Reaching Out is an initiative of the Irish Government which aims to encourage all people of Irish ancestry to reconnect with their Irish roots.
With the growing interest in family genealogy, indicated by such popular TV programs such as ‘Who do you think you are?’, many people are actively researching their family history. Reaching Out ‘enables people of Irish heritage to return to Ireland to see the homes their ancestors once lived in, the land they may have farmed, family gravestones, and possibly, to meet living relatives in Ireland.’
The program, which is free to those who wish to participate in it, is run by volunteers from local communities. It is hoped that the work of the volunteers will mean that the practical needs of participants’ will be met when they travel to Ireland to seek information about their ancestry. There will be somebody there to meet and show them around and help with locating family home and burial sites as well as paper work and possibly accommodation.
There is an excellent 3 min ‘YouTube’ extract on the Ireland XO – Reaching Out website as well as information about the program. If any diaspora organisations or individuals are interested in participating in the program do not hesitate to contact the organisation.