Ireland Reaching Out (Ireland XO), the award-winning Irish parish-based Diaspora project and the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) are to launch a highly innovative programme to attract many more of Irish Diaspora to GAA sports worldwide this Dec 4th in San Francisco.
The simple idea is that as parish communities around Ireland identify people connected with their parish through their genealogical research, they introduce them through the Ireland XO organization to the nearest international GAA club so that they can learn about, and possibly participate in Irish sporting culture, well away from Ireland.
Over 450 GAA clubs are now in existence outside of Ireland around the world. The pilot project will be launched by GAA President Christy Cooney, and Ireland XO Chairman, Mike Feerick, at a special brunch event at the Treasure Island GAA facilities. The event is being held in conjunction with the visit of the 2011 Hurling All-Stars to San Francisco. Leading members of the Irish technology community in Silicon Valley will also attend the event. It is hoped that should the project prove successful in San Francisco, it will be rolled out to all GAA clubs worldwide. Further information about the event and the GAA All-Stars visit to San Francisco can be accessed here.
Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Criostóir Ó Cuana said, “This is an innovative way of making a direct connection between our clubs and communities here in Ireland and the vast numbers of people around the globe who have Irish ancestry.
“I look forward to next Sunday’s event in San Francisco which is being held on the morning of the All-Stars tour game and I believe that this project has the potential to ignite interest in Ireland through our club network.”