New York, June 6, 2019 – 34 million Americans claim Irish heritage and it’s with this in mind that Fáilte Ireland is launching a global festival series to celebrate our great culture. After a successful pilot program in 2018, a range of fantastic events will take place in Ireland encouraging people with Irish roots, and those who simply enjoy Irish culture, to come and celebrate what it means to be Irish.
Tourism Ireland is delighted to be joined by the Consulate General of Ireland and colleagues from Ireland to launch events taking place in Limerick and Donegal this Fall including the Richard Harris International Film festival, Donegal Connect and I.NY.
The festival series was officially launched with a special performance by Chris Byrne, a legend in the Irish American music scene in New York. Sensing the energy brought on by a new wave of Irish immigrants in the early nineties, he gave up his day gig as a New York City cop in the Times Square precinct to form Black ’47 with Larry Kirwan. Chris started the band Paddy A-GoGo with Eileen Ivers and Pat McGuire and released the acclaimed album Keep It Reel. He went on to form the band Seanchai and The Unity Squad and now a trad band called The Lost Tribe Of Donegal.
Billy Condon, Vice President Marketing Tourism Ireland USA said “We are delighted to join with Consul General Ciaran Madden and our colleagues from Failte Ireland in launching this exciting new Irish cultural offering. The links between Ireland and the US are many and we hope these new energetic and contemporary festivals will encourage those who hold Ireland dear to join us and to travel to Ireland to celebrate our shared love for all things Irish.
Mr Condon continued, It has never been easier to get to Ireland and the Global Festival Series is yet another great reason to make the trip. Last year we welcomed almost 2 million visitors from North America to the island of Ireland. We are confident that our strategy for growth, extensive marketing programme combined with more airline seats, and competitiveness of the vacation experience around the island of Ireland, will deliver further growth through year end and into 2020.”
Irish Consul General Ciaran Madden, “The Global Irish Festivals series offers a wonderful opportunity for all of us to celebrate what it means to be Irish. Culture is an enormous part of Irish identity and the projection of that identity globally. As a nation we are renowned for our writers, actors and artists, so what better way to connect with the warm heart of Ireland than by attending some of these festivals to enjoy the very finest traditional and contemporary culture and heritage that Ireland has to offer.”
Ciara Sugrue, Head of Festivals, Fáilte Ireland said: “The Global Irish Festival Series aims to motivate those abroad to reconnect by visiting their home county thus enabling local communities across Ireland to deepen connections with diaspora around the world. The initiatives in Limerick and Donegal will offer a host of events from sport to music and film. The Global Irish Festival Series is the perfect way to experience the Wild Atlantic Way this fall, and we look forward to welcoming our diaspora home to enjoy these great festivals and events.”