Sinn Féin councillor Thérèse Ruane is calling for the establishment of a national diaspora centre and has identified the former military barracks, Castlebar, as an ideal location.
Cllr Ruane, who has worked and travelled extensively abroad, believes that one of Ireland’s greatest resources is our people and that we need to connect with and honour the estimated 80 million people worldwide who make up the Irish diaspora. A national diaspora centre located here in Mayo, according to Cllr Ruane, would recognise and honour the lives and achievements of countless generations as well as make important social, business, and cultural connections with Irish emigrants and their descendants to benefit our society and economy. She believes that 2013, the year of The Gathering, is an ideal time to kickstart this project and Cllr Ruane has tabled a motion at the next Castlebar town council meeting seeking the support of her colleagues for this proposal.
“I'm confident of the support of my colleagues for my motion proposing the establishment of a national diaspora centre here in Castlebar and to set up a meeting with An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, and Minister Michael Ring to progress this really innovative project. Our greatest resource is our people who are scattered throughout the globe in United States, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, Caribbean, Latin America, and Europe.”
The councillor said: “I am confident that my colleagues on Castlebar Town Council will back this project and I look forward to meeting with An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, and Minister Ring to make progress on this in 2013, the year of The Gathering.”