first_imgAll future outward trade and tourism events from Donegal are set to have a Diaspora aspect to them, as the county works to maximise the potential of untapped connections with the Diaspora, a major conference heard last weekend.Speaking in Lough Eske Castle at the Donegal Diaspora conference on ‘Culture and the importance of belonging to place,” Garry Martin, Director of Economic Development and Global Engagement with Donegal County council said the importance of communication with the Diaspora could not be underestimated.“No matter where people find themselves in the world, to feel part of their home county, home town or townland means so much to people,” he said. John Tunney Lecturer in Heritage Studies, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology attending the Donegal Diaspora Conference on Friday last in Lough Eske Castle Donegal TownGarry Martin explained that a driving principle of the Donegal Diaspora project is that all of our Diaspora, young and old, distant and near, rich or poor, influential or not, are all equally important and precious as part of the global Donegal family.“We want to reach out to all of our Diaspora, want to engage with them all, hear from them all and we are working to develop ways to do that.”“From football clubs, musical groups and all sorts of other networks that remain untapped, the Donegal Diaspora project will work towards strengthening our Diaspora and all the outward trade and tourism events going forward will have a Diaspora aspect to them,” he added.Packie Bonner attending the Donegal Diaspora Conference on Friday last in Lough Eske Castle Donegal TownAmong those present at the very well-attended conference was former international goalkeeper Packie Bonner and delegates were treated to a mix of lively and interesting presentations covering everything from Donegal literature and song to its influence in politics in Boston. Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr Gerry McMonagle who welcomed the delegates and opened the conference suggested that it is not only where people are born and where they grow up that has a huge bearing in their sense of identity, it is also where they live and where they feel they belong.“That is the wonderful thing about Diaspora. You can belong to more than one place, you can be a part of and feel part of more than one community.”He added “whether or not we like it, our lives are more often than not, shaped to a large degree by lines drawn on a map. But with ease of travel these days, geography alone no longer dictates our identity.“That is why it is so important for us in Donegal to continue to maintain the sense of community, the sense of belonging, that in turn makes our physical surroundings and infrastructure worth caring about.”The Cathaoirleach maintained that over the years Donegal has managed to do that through its music, art, culture and sport. “In continuing to do so now, I believe we can grow and strengthen our Diaspora community and help everyone who feels part of Donegal or chooses to live here, to truly develop a special connection with the place they live,” he concluded.Brian Lambkin, Director of the Mellon Centre for Migration Studies at the Ulster-American Folk Park speaking at the Donegal Diaspora Conference on Friday last in Solis Lough Eske Donegal TownDonegal Diaspora project set to build more connections was last modified: June 12th, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Donegal diasporalast_img read more