Communities nationwide tapping into the Ireland XO Community

Site enables people link with Diaspora, writes Laura Colleran

IRELAND Reaching Out enables local communities to connect and engage with
people around the world who are descendants of people from their locality — whether living in Ireland or on the other side of the world.

Every month, over 50,000 people visit the Ireland XO website to get free family history advice, connect with people or possible relatives from their family’s place of origin, and to
share their ancestors’ stories with the Ireland XO Community.

Communities all over the country have adopted the Ireland XO programme to complement and leverage their own local Diaspora initiatives.

Jane Halloran Ryan has been involved with Ireland Reaching Out for four years, connecting with the Tulla, Co Clare Diaspora. “It has had a tremendous impact on our community with several people reconnecting with their Clare roots through visits, shared stories and local information
about the parish”, she says.

“Such is the interest, at home and abroad, that we hold an annual Weekend of Welcomes
event inviting all those with Tulla ancestry to join us and take part in various activities which are important to our parish life. These include music, dance, heritage walks, genealogy, sports events, and lectures. The Tulla Diaspora have become part of the living Tulla community today.”

On every Ireland XO local community space you will find:

Message Board
Here you can volunteer to answer queries from descendants of the area, create
new messages, research your own family history by browsing more than 20,000 posts from members all over the world and find out who is planning to visit.

XO Chronicles
This is an innovative way for every parish in Ireland to document everyone who ever resided there, the buildings they lived and worked in, and the events that shaped their lives. Anyone can add an entry — and with over 1,000 entries already created, are fast becoming a valuable resource.

Local Guide
Promote your parish by adding detail to the area’s Local Guide. What
businesses are in the area? What are the tourist attractions? Where can a visitor stay, or dine
out? Many are unable to get such information and so do not stay long in the parish of their ancestors.

Find your parish on the Ireland XO website and see what conversations are going on,
who is being added to the XO Chronicles and the Local Guide. Your contribution matters and the difference you can make to your community and to its scattered descendants means generations can be bridged, geography can be redefined — putting the places that connect us at the centre of who we are and what makes all of us Irish.

Interested in researching your family history? Then click here to find out how you can discover your Irish roots!

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