NE’s Irish organizations focus on giving a boost to outreach efforts. The agenda centers on many issues

How can Irish diaspora organizations from across New England find some common ground on how they tell the stories that matter to those who cherish their heritage? That was the overriding topic last month (Oct. 13) at a conference sponsored by the Consulate General of Ireland in Boston and the Irish Cultural Centre of New England at the centre’s facilities in Canton.
Delegates from dozens of groups, including Boston College’s Irish Institute and Burns Library, the Celtic Studies programs from both Harvard and University of Vermont, the Charitable Irish Society, Irish Network Boston, the Boston Irish Business Association, the Irish Pastoral Centre, the Irish American Partnership, and the Amherst Irish Association offered their opinions on such topics as:
How best to protect and promote Irish heritage; how to better collaborate with other groups; how to better raise funds; how to manage events; how to use social media to best effects; and how to promote community welfare. There was also discussion about the Ireland-New England relationship; Irish studies, the Irish language; and Irish history.
When it comes to raising money, Mary Sugrue, Boston CEO of the Irish American Partnership, offered this: “The key to fundraising is building relationships with individuals. You have to be passionate about what you’re asking them to support.” Speaking on a panel on managing successful events, Ellen Joyce of the GAA Continental Youth Championship host committee, touted inclusivity as a key part of expanding an organization’s reach.
For her, success is about “being inclusive and getting out there to other areas and towns, and not thinking it’s just Canton and Dorchester or Quincy or Braintree.” It also means “getting more kids, not just Irish-American kids,” she noted, adding,
“It’s all basically your heritage and getting people to come back. And they do.”
The ICCNE said that it was “delighted to host such a dynamic day at the Irish Consulate conference. Collaboration was one of the recurring words of the day. This gathering will help forge stronger relationships & indeed promote the emergence of new relationships between local organizations.”
Added the office of the Consulate General: “Dear All, Thank you for attending the Conference of New England Irish Organizations at the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton, MA. We feel it was a huge success, and hope everyone found it just as rewarding and insightful as we did.”