Mayo County Council has launched a new community tourism initiative for the Diaspora which seeks to build on the legacy of The Gathering 2013. The Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring, officially launched the initiative, a joint partnership by Fáilte Ireland, IPB Insurance, and the 34 local authorities, to provide an annual fund of €1m over the next three years to support up to 700 local community-based events each year around the country. Mayo County Council will provide €30,000 over the next three years for this purpose.
Speaking at the national launch, Minister Michael Ring outlined: “We are delighted with this collaboration between local authorities, IPB, and Failte Ireland. This is an excellent opportunity for communities to come together to organise events and initiatives that encourage our Diaspora to return home and indeed to forge and strengthen links with our Global Diaspora”
Commenting on the initiative, Peter Hynes, Mayo county manager, and representative for the County and City Managers Association at the launch, added: “Every year we support many events and initiatives, facilitate forums, and engage with citizens to support them in community events. We want to develop our communities to make them sustainable to live in, give people a sense of pride and belonging, and encourage visitors, and in particular encourage our Diaspora to return.” The key objective of this project is to provide support to local and community projects that will develop and encourage Diaspora links for the benefit of the local community and county at large.
The Community Diaspora Tourism Initiative is a direct response to one of the clear successes of last year’s Gathering where 5,000 communities nationally mobilised to harness their Diaspora links for the benefit of local and community tourism. Mayo as a county was one of the leading counties in the country in terms of the number of Gathering events hosted. The flagship project In Humber’s Footsteps which took place in August 2013 scooped the top prize of overall National Gathering of the Year at the 2014 LAMA awards.
This fund will be administered by the Enterprise and Investment unit at Mayo County Council. The amount awarded will be based on the number of overseas visitors attending events. The minimum offered is €500 and the maximum €3,000. Mayo County Council invites applications from communities/organisations/groups. Closing date for receipt of applications is May 16.