Loughrea, Galway, June 27th 2012, Henry Healy, community leader and high profile cousin of the current US President Barack Obama has joined Ireland Reaching Out, the national Diaspora initiative piloted in South-East Galway in 2011 and being rolled out nationally through 2012/2013. His new role as Ireland XO Community Activation Leader will involve visiting parishes and parish groups around Ireland introducing the Ireland XO organisation and objectives and working with them to reach out and engage with their Diaspora around the world.
Commenting on Henry’s appointment, Ireland Reaching Out Chairman and Founder Mike Feerick said that “Henry is the perfect person to work with parishes around the country on harnessing the benefits and potential of reaching out to their Diaspora. What the community in Moneygall have done is an inspiration to every local Irish community, yet every Irish parish has both high and low profile connections around the world who are very interested in learning more about and becoming involved in the parishes of their ancestors. Henry Healy stated that “I am truly delighted to become part of this innovative and highly energetic organisation. I believe in the power of the Diaspora and the powerful and positive contribution it can make over the long term to Irish people, at home and abroad. I am looking forward to working with parishes across Ireland through the coming year”
The Ireland XO is working in close partnership with the Gathering 2013 initiative which is preparing to invite an additional 340,000 visitors to Ireland through the end of 2013, and also with local county council and LEADER groups. Shannon Development, the economic development agency for the Mid-West is leading the adoption of Ireland XO in 376 parishes in its area with the assistance of local authority and LEADER organisations. Parishes across Ireland who are not yet involved in Ireland XO or the Gathering 2013 initiative are encouraged to contact the Ireland XO Headquarters in Loughrea, Co Galway. Henry Healy will be joining Ireland XO Parish Liaison Officer John Joe Conwell at promotional Gathering 2013 events in Castlebar, Co Mayo, Rathkeale, Co Limerick, and Thurles & Nenagh, Co Tipperary in coming weeks.