The Global Irish Festival Series, a Fáilte Ireland and Department of Foreign Affairs initiative in partnership with local authorities, aims to harness diaspora links for the benefit of local and community tourism.
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin TD and Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora Colm Brophy TD have announced that the Global Irish Festival Series will take place along the Wild Atlantic Way in counties Mayo, Donegal, Limerick and Kerry this year.
A joint initiative between Fáilte Ireland and the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Global Irish Festival Series aims to encourage diaspora to return home to visit Ireland and provides funding and support, through local authorities, for events that tap into international diaspora networks.
The annual Global Irish Festival Series was initially launched in 2018, supporting events in Donegal and Limerick. With an investment of up to €300,000, the series returns after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic with two additional locations, Mayo and Kerry.
Statement By Minister Martin
Minister Martin stated, "It's great to see the Global Irish Festival Series return this year with a fantastic line-up of events over the coming months showcasing the culture and heritage of each county. Festivals provide a unique reason for visitors to choose a destination, increasing footfall for local businesses and supporting jobs and revenue generation. The Global Irish Festival Series enables local communities to further build upon diaspora networks, deepen connections around the world and attract more visitors."
Statement By Minister Brophy
Minister Brophy stated, "I warmly welcome the members of our diaspora who will be returning for the Global Irish Festival Series. Those with a connection to Mayo, Donegal, Limerick, and Kerry will have a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with home and to rediscover the vibrancy of the Wild Atlantic Way. Through the Global Irish Festival Series, we will re-affirm our sense of solidarity and common identity and celebrate our shared culture and history."
The Global Irish Festival Series kicks off in Mayo with Home to Mayo, a series of events incorporating existing festivals from 1 to 31 May celebrating Mayo's history and natural heritage. Highlights include the award-winning Mayo Manchester Tradfest, a week-long celebration of traditional Irish music, song and dance, featuring over 100 performers and multiple events in major towns across the county. Visitors will also have the chance to trace their family history though the Mayo Genealogy Festival, Celebrating and Finding our Mayo Roots. More information is available HomeToMayo.ie.
In Donegal, Donegal Connect will take place from 23 to 25 September offering visitors a diverse itinerary of food, genealogy, sport, business, arts and culture. Highlights include the Tipp O'Neill Irish Diaspora Awards and a carnival showcase against the backdrop of the Inishowen peninsula. More information will be available soon on Donegal.ie.
Global Limerick will take place from 16 September to 31 October and will feature the Richard Harris International Film Festival celebrating the talent of Richard Harris in the city where he was born and raised and showcasing the work of young filmmakers from Ireland and across the world; and the Pigtown Food and Culture Series, inspired by Limerick's bacon industry, a three-week celebration of themed food and cultural events, tours and trails and the annual Pigtown Parade on the streets of Limerick. More information will be available soon on Limerick.ie.
And closing the Global Irish Festival Series, An Turas Mór - The Journey Home will take place in Kerry from 1 to 31 October. Featuring established festivals such as the Dingle Food Festival and the iQuest Adventure Series, there is plenty on offer for all festival goers from the high-octane sport enthusiast to the foodie connoisseur. More information is available on HomecomingKerry.com.
Statement By Fáilte Ireland's Head Of Festivals
Fáilte Ireland's head of festivals, Ciara Sugrue, stated, "We are pleased to work with the Department of Foreign Affairs once again on the annual Global Irish Festival Series after a two-year hiatus. The festivals and events supported through the series will help drive tourism to specific locations, including regional areas outside of current hotspots, creating new economic benefits for local communities. This will be hugely important as we drive recovery across the tourism sector."
The Global Irish Festival Series will be officially launched at the Consulate General of Ireland in New York in partnership with Tourism Ireland on Wednesday 20 April.
Further details on each county's events will be announced by the festivals over the coming months.
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