Speakers from all over the world will be coming to Donegal early next month where they will congregate to share their own stories and their own research into the history, experiences and legacy of Donegal people who emigrated and made new lives for themselves in various parts of the world.
Plans are now well underway for the major Donegal Irish Diaspora Conference which is being hosted by Donegal County Council in LYIT on 4th and 5th June.
According to a spokesperson the conference will hear from Prof. David Emmons, a highly acclaimed expert on the legacy of the Irish and in particular the Donegal Irish in Butte Montana.
Prof Emmons is Emeritus Professor of History with the University of Montana and has published literature on this era of American history.
He is also an expert on the life of the Irish emigrants who went to work in the mining communities in Montana.
Life was hard for these emigrants but despite the gruelling and dangerous work, many of these Irish men and women have left a legacy that continues to shape and influence American society today.
A substantial number of these emigrants were from Inishowen.
Kevin Cullen, well known reporter with the Boston Globe and co-author of “Whitey Bulger: America’s Most Wanted Gangster” and of “Betrayal:The Crisis in the Catholic Church” will also be addressing the conference along with Professor Tom Devine OBE, Director of the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies at Edinburgh who will be discussing the Donegal Irish in Scotland since the Great War.
This conference is being held as part of the Councils ‘Hands of History’ project which is being funded under the Donegal CDB Peace & Reconciliation Partnerships PEACE III Programme
Michael Heaney, Director of Service with Donegal County Council has said it’s an important event; “We are delighted to be hosting such an event with such a broad and interesting group of speakers highlighting the importance of the Donegal connection abroad.
“This conference will address the history, experiences and legacy of the Irish Diaspora and will focus on the profound effect these Irish people have had on the countries they migrated to and on Ireland itself.
“The Diaspora is a key resource for Ireland in economic, political and cultural terms, not least as evidenced by its influence on the Irish Peace Process and its contribution to the economic development of the country”.