Global Irish Festival
Global Irish Festival

Global Irish Festival Series for Diaspora

A new initiative aimed at attracting people of Irish descent from across the world is being launched in Ireland and will include several fun events in various counties along the Wild Atlantic Way.

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The Global Irish Festival Series is intended to encourage the 70 million-strong Irish diaspora to journey home to celebrate their roots.

Throughout 2022, festivals and other cultural events will take place in Counties Mayo, Donegal, Limerick, and Kerry.

Home to Mayo (events in May)

The festival series, a partnership between Failte Ireland and the Department of Foreign Affairs, kicks off in Mayo with the Home to Mayo festival, which will take place from May 1st through the 31st.

Some of its highlights include the Footsteps of Emigrants Festival on May 2nd featuring guided walks, information seminars about relocating to Ireland, and an evening of song and dance, all taking place on the beautiful island of Achill.

people on bikes cycling in Ireland
Spectacular views along the Great Western Greenway in Co. Mayo. Photo: Gareth McCormack for Failte Ireland/Tourism Ireland.

Participants will walk from the Mulranny Park Hotel, which is located along the Great Western Greenway, and later find out about the lives and journeys of thousands of emigrants who left this area of Ireland.

Later that night, participants can enjoy an evening of music, song, and dance.

From May 10-14, golfers won’t want to miss The Carne International Festival of Gold golf competition in Belmullet.

people playing golf Mayo golf course
The Carne Golf Links in County Mayo. Photo: Martin Fleming for Tourism Ireland/Failte Ireland.

The Carne Golf Course is a popular links course on the Wild Atlantic Way.
Beautiful Achill Island in County Mayo. Photo: Tourism Ireland.

The Achill Island Film Festival, from Mayo 20-22, will include Irish and international features, documentaries, and shorts, as well as various discussions and workshops.

On May 26th, visitors can enjoy the Mayo Manchester Tradfest in Castlebar’s Linen Hall Theatre, a week-long festival of Irish music, song, and dance.

In addition, two Mayo towns are pulling out all the stops for the Home to Mayo celebration.

They include Swinford, which will host a 3-day festival, with lots of food, music, and cultural events, including a history bus tour and a range of “give it a try” workshops that will allow participants to engage in a variety of Irish traditions.
The center of Swinford in County Mayo. Photo: Courtesy of Stephen Duffy for Failte Ireland/Tourism Ireland.

They include Gaelic football, learning a few words of the Irish language, baking Irish bread, and learning traditional Irish dance.

From May 27-29, Ballina will host its own celebration, with an action-packed program that includes ancestry, genealogy, culture, heritage, and sporting activities.

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Donegal Connect (events in July)

Donegal will celebrate music, culture, and much more over the weekend of Sept. 23-25.

The itinerary will include food experiences, genealogy, sport, business, arts, and culture.

two people standing looking at a mountain Global Irish Festival Series
A view of Errigal in County Donegal. Photo: Tourism Ireland.

Highlights include the Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awards and a spectacular carnival showcase, with the Inishowen Peninsula serving as the event’s dramatic backdrop, in addition to the Donegal Walking Festival and a Unique Ascent Climbing event.

The Tip O’Neill awards were created in 2012 in honor of the late U.S. congressman and Speaker of the House, whose maternal grandparents were from Donegal.

O’Neill was heavily involved in the Northern Ireland Peace Process and helped to advance the socioeconomic situation in Northern Ireland and in border counties like Donegal.

Global Limerick (events in September/October)

Several events are planned to celebrate Global Limerick from Sept. 23 to Oct. 30.

The annual Richard Harris International Film Festival and the Pigtown Food and Culture Series are expected to draw lots of visitors to the city for the celebration.

a rainbow over a river and a castle Global Irish Festival Series
A rainbow over King Johns Castle in Limerick. Photo: awopa3336

The film festival celebrates the actor Richard Harrison, who was born and raised in Limerick.

This year’s celebration will showcase the work of young filmmakers from across the world, including those from the Irish Diaspora community, as well as theatrical performers, poets, singers, and writers.

The three-week Pigtown Festival celebrates Limerick’s burgeoning food culture as well as its heritage and is inspired by the city’s famous bacon industry.

Visitors can expect food tastings, tours, and trails.

Kerry – The Journey Home (events in October)

The Global Irish Festival Series will end in October with a celebration that the County Kerry diaspora won’t want to miss.

The Journey Home (An Turas Mór) series of events will take place from Oct. 1st through the 31st and will focus on heritage, culture, sport, and business.

signs on buildings Global Irish Festival Series
The town of Dingle in County Kerry is one of the locations for the 2022 Global Irish Festival Series. Photo: Tourism Ireland.

Highlights include the Dingle Food Festival as well as the iQuest Adventure Series.

In addition, several clubs and organizations in County Kerry will engage with various diaspora-led exchange programs to encourage visitors to get involved in outdoor activities and events.

Four family clan gatherings will also take place during the month of October, with participation from members of the worldwide O’Connors of North Kerry, the O’Sullivans of the Iveragh and Bera regions of the county, as well as the ancestors of the Hibero-Norman Fitzgeralds and their rivals, the McCarthys from east and west Kerry.

Similar clan gatherings are also being organized in other parts of Ireland in association with Ireland 101.

Read More: Music, Art and Food Festivals in Ireland

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