Derry gets US showcase

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A Derry/Donegal delegation is to showcase the best of the north west at the world’s biggest Irish cultural festivals.

Representatives from Derry City Council, Failte Ireland, Ilex, the University of Ulster, Letterkenny Institute of Technology and the DVCB will be accompanied by business representatives, musicians, artists and performers as they attend the Milwaukee Irish Fest later this week.

Running from August 18-21, the Milwaukee Irish Fest annually attracts around 150,000 visitors and is seen as a key event in attracting investment and tourism to ireland.

Mary Blake, Tourism Development Officer with Derry City Council, who is co-ordinating the event, said the festival was a unique opportunity to promote Derry and Donegal to a global audience.

“By working in close partnership with Donegal we are able to promote the North West region as a whole and showcase our local talent and work collectively to promote the region as a good place to visit and do business,” she added.

A key aspect of the visit will be the promotion of the Derry City Council’s Genealogy Service.

Genealogist Brian Mitchell said the Milwaukee festival was a fantastic opportunity to capitalize on the growing interest in family and ethnic history among the Irish diaspora.

“Genealogy is a key element of the showcase with 32.6m Americans claiming Irish ancestry and an estimated 9million in North American claiming to have roots in the NW region of Ireland.

“Since the service has been up and running we have been inundated with requests and we believe this is an area that has room for growth and where we can really tell our story and show the impact and legacy our region has had in the United States.”

Joan Crawford, Fáilte Ireland said: “There is evidence of a recovery from the US market and we have been working with our colleagues in Tourism Ireland in the states to explore opportunities to promote the North West on a cross-border basis. They have recommended this event as the biggest for Ireland in the United States. By working in close partnership with Derry we are able to promote the North West region as a whole and showcase our talent and work collectively to promote the region as a good place to visit and do business”

More details are available online at irishfest.com