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The Ireland Reaching Out Programme

I'm pleased to share this page today with Jane Halloran Ryan with the IrelandXO project. If you are planning a trip to Ireland and want to visit the area of your ancestors, but are unfamiliar with the area, this is a great way to get assistance. Thanks, Jane for sharing this information with my readers.


My name is Jane Halloran Ryan and I am a volunteer with the Ireland Reaching Out programme in Ireland. I am part of a local network of national volunteers in our respective parishes who will meet and greet those visitors to my parish of Tulla (and in other parts of Clare if needed) to welcome them and to assist them with any questions about the area.

The Ireland Reaching Out programme was created by Mike Feerick, an Irish born American businessman living in East Galway. Mike saw the need for visitors to Ireland who might want to visit their ancestral parish, but who did not know anyone in the locality who would be able to meet with them. A pilot programme was created in the South-East Galway area for this purpose. The programme proved so popular that it has expanded to all 32 counties.

The IrelandXO programme (as it is known) has a dedicated website with a number of features including a message board, a parish page for each civil parish in Ireland and other features relating to particular topics such basic genealogy and family history advice to the IrelandXO Chronicles which is a platform where members can share a short biography about an ancestor. There are also opportunities to share information about local buildings and timeline events as they relate to specific parishes.

For anyone who is planning on visiting Ireland, please be sure to join the programme (it’s free) as a member. You will then be able to post a message board query letting the volunteers know about a future visit and any details. You will then be contacted by a volunteer who will be able to do some preliminary work for you, arrange to meet with you and possibly even to show you a headstone, building that related to your own family. You may even be lucky enough to meet a cousin!

The IrelandXO website is at this link:

Any questions, please email the programme at:


A few of the individuals traveling with me to Ireland in May have already contacted IrelandXO and are looking forward to visiting their ancestral homeland.

Happy Hunting!

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