Global Irish Festival Series to attract diaspora home to Mayo this year
The Global Irish Festival Series, a Fáilte Ireland and Department of Foreign Affairs initiative, aims to harness diaspora links for the benefit of local and community tourism
The Global Irish Festival Series was officially launched internationally by the Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy TD, at the Consulate General of Ireland in New York on Wednesday, 20th April. Attendance at the event included representatives from; Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland, County Associations, Tour Operators, Irish American Groups, Aer Lingus and key media.
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 with support from Tourism Ireland.
The annual Global Irish Festival Series was initially launched in 2018, supporting events in Donegal and Limerick. This year, the series will also support Mayo County Council on Home to Mayo, which takes place from 1st to 31st May, with an investment of €100,000.
Incorporating a number of existing festivals, Home to Mayo will celebrate Mayo’s rich 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.
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, today announced that the Global Irish Festival Series will take place along the Wild Atlantic Way in Mayo, Donegal, Kerry and Limerick this year.
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, said:
“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.”
Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy, said:
“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.”
Speaking about the Global Irish Festival Series, Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Festivals, Ciara Sugrue, said:
“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.”
Alison Metcalfe, Executive Vice President Tourism Ireland, North America & Australia/NZ, said:
“Music, dance, and the arts are such fundamental parts of contemporary Irish culture and have gained huge popularity around the world. What better way to cement these great connections than encouraging travellers to embrace their Irish spirit and to visit Ireland as part of the Global Irish Festival series. The island of Ireland is open and ready to welcome visitors for the experience of a lifetime and Tourism Ireland is delighted to join with Fáilte Ireland and the Department of Foreign Affairs in encouraging people to ‘Press the Green Button’ and book your trip to Ireland now.”
Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Cllr Michael Smyth, said:
“It is fantastic to be part of the Global Irish Festival Series this year. We look forward to welcoming the Mayo diaspora back to enjoy the amazing programme of events planned for Home to Mayo.”
Further details on each county’s events will be announced by the festivals over the coming months.