National Rollout of Ireland Reaching Out begins in Offaly

Ireland Reaching Out, the National Reverse Genealogy Programme launched by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, in March 2012 held a training and information day for its newly appointed regional animators to drive the programme forward for 2013.

Ireland Reaching Out, the National Reverse Genealogy Programme launched by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, in March 2012 held a training and information day for its newly appointed regional animators to drive the programme forward for 2013.

Among those attending was Offaly’s Henry Healy. The training and information was being held as part of the integration and induction programme of 8 new full-time regional staff who have or will be taking up the role of Ireland XO coordinators in specific regions of the country. These “animator” posts have been primarily funded by local rural development LEADER groups. Although no animator has as yet been approved in East Galway where the programme originated, it is hoped that a full-time development officer will be appointed locally later this year.

The information and training day consisted of a short review of the Ireland XO programme followed with a detailed presentation of the Ireland XO national rollout operation. To round off the day’s proceedings, well-known broadcaster and economist David McWilliams addressed the meeting, reflecting on the programme’s development and progress successful progress to date, and adding as per usual, some perceptive (and lighter) comments on the Irish economy.

Attending the meeting were representatives from state agencies, LEADER representatives, Councillors, 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. Various representatives 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. Ireland XO parish volunteers are now reaching out around the world and the website www.irelandxo.com is proving increasingly popular as a landing point in Ireland for people abroad who have some detail about where their emigrant ancestors hail from in Ireland.

By joining any parish community online, they can seek direct genealogical research assistance from local people in the area who also volunteer to meet them on their return.

An Information evening taks place in in Kinnitty Hall at 8pm on Monday, January 28 and in Clonbollogue Hall at 8pm on Wednesday, 30th January. Info on 085-1925466 and www.irelandxo.com.