Ireland Reaching Out- Ballyhoura Country

On Wednesday November 30th over 30 community members from across Ballyhoura Country converged on Kilmallock to hear John Joe Conwell, Parish Liaison Officer of the Ireland Reaching Out Project, give a presen-tation on its development and successes in South East Galway

The Ireland Reaching Out (IRO or Ireland XO) Project is an Irish government sponsored initiative established to connect people of Irish heritage abroad with the Irish parish communities from which their ancestors emigrated. The national pilot project is being organised within 46 parishes in the South-East Galway region and aims to enable geographical parish communities as they are today to expand to become globally connected online ‘virtual’ communities.

Ireland Reaching Out essentially is tracing family roots in reverse. In South East Galway a number of communities tracked the ancestors of previous community members across the globe and invited descendants back to the area for a week of welcomes.

The success of the project in South East Galway creates a great potential for communities in the Ballyhoura area as a means of increasing tourism traffic and creating a much needed economic input into the local area.

The presentation created much enthusiasm for those who attended and it is hoped that ten com-munities will participate in the Ballyhoura Area for 2012.

For enquiries into the project or to get involved please contact Tourism and Heritage Officer Amanda Slattery on 063-91741 or

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