Jersey City, USA, March 9th 2013 - Ireland Reaching Out (Ireland XO) are pleased to announce that the charity has been awarded the St Patrick’s Award from the Mayor of Jersey City in recognition of its achievements related to developing the Irish Diaspora since its launch in 2010.
The Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee selected Ireland XO for this award as part of their 2013 St Patrick’s Day celebrations and invited Henry Healy, Community Activation Leader of Ireland XO in Ireland to receive the award on behalf of Ireland XO and March in the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade has been a major community event and tradition in Jersey City since 1963. The Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T Healy presented Henry Healy with the prestigious award for all the great work Ireland Reaching Out (Ireland XO) programme has achieved in the last two years.
In accepting the award, Henry Healy said that he was delighted to accept the award on behalf of Ireland Reaching Out programme. “The Irish Diaspora is the great untapped asset of modern Ireland and initiatives such as Ireland XO are showing how together, local people and members of each parishes Diaspora abroad can develop and harness the extraordinary potential of their people around the world. Great credit is due to parish volunteers and Irish communities abroad such as Jersey City who cherish their connection to home”.
The Ireland XO programme enables people to trace their roots to specific Irish parishes providing a ‘Meet & Greet’ service to those who return. By joining any parish community online, they can seek direct genealogical research assistance from local people in the area who know the area like no one else.
The Ireland XO website provides a profile for every parish in the country, and aims to facilitate deep connections with some of the estimated 70 million diaspora.
Ireland Reaching Out (Ireland XO), the National “Reverse Genealogy” Programme was launched by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, on 14th March 2012, now has all 32 counties of Ireland on board. The volunteer programme recently signed up its 2,000th volunteer and is now present and active in over in 800 parishes north and south. An Taoiseach has stated that “From its beginnings as a pilot project in South East Galway, Ireland Reaching Out has shown how ‘reverse genealogy’ can engage the diaspora to bring real social and economic benefits down to parish level”. The Ireland XO programme has become a vibrant source of renewal and energy within communities throughout Ireland and among people of Irish heritage worldwide”.
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