Ireland XO Volunteer of the Year 2015.

Ireland Reaching Out, NLI, Minister Deenihan Dec 2015
Ireland Reaching Out, NLI, Minister Deenihan Dec 2015Caption

Ireland Reaching Out is delighted to announce Tim Lee as Ireland XO Volunteer of the Year for 2015.  Tim is the local diaspora contact for Bournea in County Tipperary and one of more than 500 active volunteers all over Ireland who are connecting people of Irish ancestry to their parish of origin every day.


Bournea Ireland Reaching Out group in 2013


Tim established the Bournea Ireland Reaching Out group in 2013 and since then they have been highly successful in connecting their parish with its global diaspora. Through the Ireland Reaching Out website (, they discover where descendants of past emigrants from the locality are now living, helping them fill in the gaps about their Irish family history and giving them a warm welcome, should they decide to visit the parish. Monthly meetings are held to discover and preserve the heritage of the area, and also to compile their annual book which is a treasury of insightful stories about Bournea parish and its people.

Mike Feerick and Tim Lee
Mike Feerick and Tim Lee December 2015
Mike Feerick and Tim Lee December 2015

Congratulating Tim Lee on his achievement, Mike Feerick of Ireland Reaching Out said“There is a wealth of information about our Irish heritage that is intrinsically local and can only be accessed by those closest to the area.  All over the country, Ireland XO volunteers like Tim Lee are making invaluable contributions to their local communities, both by deepening the relationship with their local heritage and also by enabling them to engage with their wider global diaspora.”

Carmel O’Callaghan from County Cavan and Thomas Hussey from County Tipperary were voted as Runner-ups in the annual Ireland XO volunteer awards.  Minister for Diaspora Affairs T.D. Jimmy Deenihan presented them with their awards in the National Library of Ireland, the heart of Irish genealogical research and a long-standing partner of the Ireland Reaching Out programme.  Thanking Carmel and Thomas for their work with the programme, Minister Deenihan said “Ireland Reaching Out is a key feature of the recently launched Diaspora Toolkit which aims to enable all local communities to engage with their global diaspora. Volunteers like Tom and Carmel are a vital connection to people all over the world who are interested in discovering more about their Irish heritage but have no direct access to the communities or origin of their ancestors.”

Ireland Reaching Out programme

Anyone interested in helping their local community connect with its global diaspora is invited to visit, for more information about volunteering with the Ireland Reaching Out programme.

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