You may have heard about the Ireland Reaching Out project, also called “Ireland XO” (www.irelandxo.com). They are seeking to identify and trace descendants of those who left Ireland. The Week of Welcomes – an integral part of the Ireland XO program – is an opportunity for people of Irish heritage to explore their past and connect with the people and places of their forefathers. The initiative was launched in South-East Galway, and the Week of Welcomes for 2012 will take place there June 24-30.
Ireland XO is a fascinating premise – in effect, it’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” in reverse. Local Irish communities will be tracing the Diaspora of the parish and inviting them to visit Ireland.
The Week of Welcomes is organised by the parishes. Those who attend from outside Ireland will get to speak to people from the communities of their ancestors and use local knowledge to discover that elusive headstone, or the spot where the ancestral home once stood, or even seek out long-lost cousins…and have some fun along the way!
The XO’s vision is that every parish in Ireland will eventually put on a Week of Welcomes. In the meantime, everyone is welcome in South-East Galway for what will undoubtedly be an unforgettable experience. Here are a few details from their brochure:
The Week of Welcomes in South East Galway is an absolutely unique, personal and intimate experience – we will meet and greet you, taking you deep into Ireland, its parishes and townlands. With stops at must-see places, as well as those that are off-the-beaten path, we will entertain you with history, stories, music, and lively discussions about Ireland’s past, present and future.
Itinerary in Brief…Come for the Week or just the Weekend!
Jun 24 Open Event & Welcome Reception
Jun 25 ‘This is who you are’ Day
Jun 26 Shannon River Cruise – Garden Tea Party
Jun 27 Historical & Heritage Tour of local areas
Jun 28 Free Day – Irish Night
Jun 29 Culture – Crafts – Heritage: all things Irish!
Jun 30 Country Market – Hurling Match – Farewell Event
Jul 01 Departure Day
- passionate, knowledgeable local guides and historians
- individual local assistance to trace your family roots
- a week of guided touring
- receptions and events in local castles and country estates
- bus and walking tours of local parishes and the region of South East Galway
- visits to heritage and ancient sitesof interest
- an exceptional evening of Irish music & craic. No canned music here!