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20 Aug 2022

Festive online hub launched for homesick Irish diaspora who can't return for Christmas

Festive online hub launched for homesick Irish diaspora who can't return for Christmas

Festive online hub launched for homesick Irish diaspora who can't return for Christmas

A festive online hub has been launched for homesick Irish diaspora who can't return for Christmas. 

Details of To Be Irish At Christmas 2021 was announced today by the Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy TD. 

The sixteen day programme runs from December 8th to 23rd and celebrates the special connections between the Irish at home and abroad during the Christmas season, despite the impact of the Covid pandemic. 

Speaking about the initiative, Minister Brophy said, "I am delighted to announce that To Be Irish returns this Christmas bigger and better than before. This Christmas will mark the very first opportunity that many of our diaspora are able to return home since the pandemic began. ToBeIrish.ie has been developed for them and for those who will spend Christmas away from us, providing an opportunity to share their experiences and hopes of Christmas past and present. 

"To be Irish is about Ireland reaching out to our diaspora at one of the most important times of the year and welcoming them in. It’s an exciting opportunity to engage with our diaspora wherever they are and celebrate the best of the Irish Christmas that we treasure." 

This year's programme, which aims to engage with the 70 million strong diaspora, will showcase the best of what it means to be Irish during the season through music, gift-giving and performances. 

Special events have been commissioned featuring music, food and fun from home, including soundscapes from different counties, an e-card project featuring Ireland's top illustrators, nostalgic Irish Christmas recipes, storytelling, recorded conversations, as well as intimate interviews with Ireland's brightest international stars. 

It also includes information for Irish people on community get-togethers abroad, including a Christmas Eve dinner in Brisbane in Australia, a Christmas brunch in Basel in Switzerland and a virtual 'Draw an Irish Christmas' art session with beloved artist Don Conroy. 

Memories of Ireland and being Irish are also featured, including contributions from the Irish Defence Forces, Irish embassies and consulates, aid workers and artists such as Tara McNeill from the band Celtic Woman. 

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