Irish groups meet, plan joint Facebook page

Members of Irish organizations across New England at the Consulate in Boston. Photo courtesy Connell GallagherMembers of Irish organizations across New England at the Consulate in Boston. Photo courtesy Connell Gallagher

Boston’s Irish Consulate hosted a meeting last month in its offices at 535 Boylston Street with an agenda to establish new and deeper links among the many Irish organizations across the six New England states.

One result was that meeting participants agreed to establish a “Deep Green” private Facebook page, monitored by the Consulate, to help coordinate event plans for the Irish groups.

Said vice consul Jillian O’Keeffe in an invitation sent to about 30 groups in the Boston Irish diaspora: “We would very much appreciate your views on a number of topical and upcoming issues such as preparations in New England for the centenary of the 1916 Rising and the celebration of Yeats 2015. A number of groups have also pointed out to us an ongoing problem of conflicting dates of events held by various societies.”

In a follow-up message, O’Keeffe gave a report on the session:

“Our thanks to those of you who were able to attend yesterday’s meeting of Irish organizations in Boston. We felt it was a very useful and productive meeting and we were delighted to be able to accommodate representatives from so many groups. For those of you who were sadly unable to attend, we wanted to let you know what had been discussed and/or agreed:

• “Prospects for US comprehensive immigration reform: We discussed how Irish organizations could support work by the IIIC, IPC, ICC and the Consulate on behalf of undocumented members of our community.  We agreed to continue to monitor the overall issue of comprehensive immigration reform and support state and city based supportive initiatives as appropriate.   

• “1916 Centenary- Please see for information on plans to mark the centenary of 1916 next year. A number of Irish organizations in the New England area have already begun thinking about how they might like to mark the occasion and we would like to hear your ideas. Some funding may be available for 2016 events.” The deadline for the initial round was April 24, but because many organizations have not finalized their plans, a second calls for proposals will take place in autumn 2015.

• “Improved co-ordination between Irish organizations: It was agreed that a Facebook page, solely for the use of Irish organizations in New England, would be established. It would then be up to individual organizations to post details of the events on it and so help everyone avoid potential scheduling conflicts. As contact information for the participating organizations is to be put on line, it would be appreciated if those interested could send me the appropriate contact information for their organization as soon as possible.”