Press Release, Cllr Kieran McCarthy, Comments made at Cork City Council Meeting, 8 September 2014
Cork City Council recently entered the completion to secure national funding to get a national diaspora centre for this city. As a city, we need to make sure that the centre stays on the wider agenda for progressing Cork and do all that we can to secure it. This centre is as important as the event centre and needs to be pushed for especially in light of the stiff competition from Drogheda and Limerick in the current competition process. Almost 90,000 overseas visitors came to Ireland last year to trace their Irish roots, spending as much as €61m in doing so, according to Fáilte Ireland. More than half of those visiting the country to trace their Irish heritage are from North America.
I believe that Cork city, should be the location for a new Irish Diaspora Centre, which will serve as the hub in Ireland for returning diaspora members. Over 250,000 people emigrated Cork Harbour after the Great Famine with countless others during the twentieth century. It is estimated that the Irish diaspora comprises of approximately 71 million Irish people across the world. The Irish Global Diaspora Centre is a major national and international undertaking. A centre like this can act as a major and sustainable stimulus for Cork into the future. I believe that progressing this project would help to re-invigorate any area of Cork City, and the reason why this city needs it.