The new Global Irish Festival Series was recently launched in New York, at an event organised by Tourism Ireland in partnership with the Consulate General of Ireland.

Singer Lisa Hannigan took to the stage to launch events that will take place in the US and Ireland with the aim of encouraging our diaspora to return home to visit Ireland.

Around 34 million Americans claim Irish heritage and the new initiative is designed to encourage people with Irish roots, and those who simply enjoy Irish culture, to come home to Ireland and celebrate what it means to be Irish.

The Global Irish Festival Series is a joint initiative between the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Fáilte Ireland. It will be piloted this October in Limerick and Donegal with events including the Richard Harris International Film festival and I.NY, which explores the breadth and depth of the connection between Ireland and New York.

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America, said “We are delighted to join with Consul General Ciaran Madden and our colleagues from Fáilte Ireland, to launch this exciting new Irish cultural offering. The links between Ireland and the US are strong and we hope these new festivals will encourage more Americans to visit the island of Ireland.

“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 a record 1.83 million visitors from North America to the island of Ireland. And, the growth momentum continues in 2018, with an increase of +11% in visitors for the January to June period. We are confident that our strategy for growth and extensive marketing programme, combined with more airline seats than ever before and the superb vacation experience on offer in Ireland, will deliver further record growth this year and into 2019.”

Pictured: Councillor James Collins, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick; Jamie Harris, The Richard Harris International Film Festival; and Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland, at the launch of the new Global Irish Festival Series in New York.