10 March 2017
By Bryan T. Smyth
The Cork Foundation, which connects Cork people globally to help Cork people locally recently held a number of diaspora training sessions. As part of the partnership between Cork County Council and Cork Foundation, the aim is to get communities active and engaged with their diaspora.
Further training sessions for the Cork County Community Diaspora training took place recently and welcomed a new collection of communities including Kilworth, Castletownroche, Fermoy, Lombardstown, Mitchelstown, Blarney, Drimoleague, Youghal, Ballycotton, Inch, Drinagh, Passage West, Castlemartyr, Mourneabbey, Ballydehob and Innishannon.
This followed from the very launch of the Pilot Community Diaspora Initiative which aimed to connect Cork parishes with their global Diaspora, creating visibility for their locality while building relationships with descendants of these communities from all over the world.
In welcoming representatives of a number of communities to County Hall, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Seamus McGrath said, “The Cork County Community Diaspora is a joint initiative between Cork County Council, Cork Foundation and the National Diaspora Programme ‘Ireland Reaching Out’ and will provide an a fantastic opportunity for Cork parishes to discover their descendants, encourage them to visit while also significantly increasing international awareness of these locations in the first instance.”
The Community Diaspora Initiative will build upon the experiences of the pilot parishes and roll out the opportunity for all Cork County parishes to get involved, offering everyone the prospect of tracing their ancestral home.
Áine Collins, Chairperson of Cork Foundation expressed great enthusiasm with this partnership between Cork Foundation, Cork County Council and Ireland Reaching Out, ‘This is a great opportunity to connect our Irish – Cork community abroad and at home. Our Irish community abroad is a National asset which we are delighted to be connecting to their ancestral place.’
Laura Colleran, Project Manager Ireland Reaching Out, who presented details on the opportunities available to the Diaspora through the IrelandXo website went on to say, “ We are really excited to be partnering with Cork County Council and Cork Foundation on this great initiative. We want to connect with parishes across the island of Ireland and get communities to engage with their diaspora. It is fantastic to see Cork leading the way in Diaspora and Community Development.”
Padraic Vallely, CEO Cork Foundation was delighted with the response to the initiative so far, “Following on from our launch in November 2016, we are delighted to host two further training days, open to all parishes across the county. We have had a very strong response , with parishes from all across Cork county, looking forward to engage with their diaspora. Following on from these training days, we aim to liaise with the relevant parishes, and help them reach out to Cork Community abroad.”
If you or your community would like to get involved in this community training, contact firstname.lastname@example.org