Download the New Kilkenny Reaching Out Callan Training Programme

President Obama’s cousin, Henry Healy was in Callan on the 14th to launch the next phase of the multi award winning  programme: Ireland XO.  Kilkenny LEADER Partnership (KLP) funds the programme’s training course and was delighted to see the great turnout and interest.

Ireland XO as it is known worldwide is a national ancestral tourism and family history initiative designed to allow local people to come together to promote their towns and parishes as part of Ireland’s attempt to attract the diaspora back home to visit the old country and develop future links that will benefit the local economy.

Community Activation Leader with Ireland XO, Henry Healy, believes there is huge potential for County Kilkenny to embrace this programme. “Kilkenny can attract visitors to each community in the county, the easiest people to attract to an area are people with a connection. Communities who embrace Ireland XO will be empowered to connect with ancestral sons & daughters and encourage them to come visit”

About Ireland Reaching Out
Ireland Reaching Out (Ireland XO) is a multi-award-winning programme based on a simple idea; instead of waiting for Irish descendants and their global counterparts to come back to Ireland to trace their roots, they go the other way. Working through voluntary effort at a town land and parish level, local Irish communities identify who left, tracing them and their descendants worldwide inviting them to become part of an extended “virtual” community with their place of origin. In this way, the entire Irish Diaspora of 70 million can be systematically reunified.

The Ireland Reaching Out (Ireland XO) programme won the special award at the national “Pride of Place” Awards in Nov 2011 and in February 2012, was voted the “Best Community” initiative nationally by the Local Authorities Members Awards (LAMA). The project was founded in South-East Galway by tech entrepreneur Mike Fee rick in 2009 and has been funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Heritage Council, Atlantic Philanthropies, the Ireland Funds, Galway County Council, Galway Rural Development (GRD), and Irish-American sources. Sponsors include Google, Guinness, An Post, and the National Library. In Dec 2011, the project launched a global partnership with the GAA, agreeing to link newly identified members of the Irish Diaspora to the network of nearly 500 GAA clubs worldwide. Well-known broadcasters and economists David McWilliams and George Lee have been prominent supports of Ireland XO pointing out the extraordinary economic potential of the programme, which rises well beyond the immediate and obvious tourism opportunity.

The Ireland Reaching Out programme is currently active in the 32 counties across Ireland. The programme, which has its headquarters in Loughrea, Co. Galway works through a small staff team supported by 3,500 volunteers at parish level. Its bi-monthly publication is currently enjoyed by over 50,000 database members who are keen to be actively involved in the programmes future growth.

For Further Information Contact:
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Follow Ireland XO on Twitter @IrelandXO


 Fergus Horgan at Kilkenny LEADER Partnership T:056 7752111