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Welcome to the National Diaspora Centre of Ireland

Linking 70 million Irish and those of Irish extraction worldwide

This website has been created as the virtual home – the home on the internet – of the National Diaspora Centre of Ireland (NDCI). It will, if our plans are successful, complement the real-world Centre, that will be located in Co. Donegal, Ireland at Rockhill House near Letterkenny, the former manor house and latterly Irish army barracks that dates back to the 18th century. The purpose of the NDCI is to celebrate the Irish diaspora – those born in Ireland who emigrated, their descendants and family connections – to assist them link back to Ireland and for those of us resident in Ireland to link with them. The NDCI will also help create a network of those centres, organisations etc. within Ireland to assist in carrying out the aim of linking with the diaspora as each region/area has its own diaspora, with its own story and requirements.

Given its long experience and history of emigration (and which unfortunately is still an on-going experience for many in the county), we see Co. Donegal as a most suitable location for the national diaspora centre. In Rockhill House and the surrounding lands of the Rockhill Demesne, we have an ideal location, that can give an unique and authentic experience to all who wish to discover and celebrate the global Irish diaspora experience. The property’s large size is appropriate to the scale of the subject.

The Donegal location also allows the NDCI to be accepted by all as a centre to serve all the island of Ireland. Donegal is seen as a crossroads between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and so serve all the diaspora, no matter from which part of Ireland, they or their ancestors emigrated.The cross-border approach is seen as being very important. The plans have got the backing of the Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement by way of a letter to An Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore T.D.. In June Joe McHugh T.D., who is Chairperson of the Committee received a letter of acknowledgement from An Tanaiste to the Committee’s letter of support.

It will be a centre of international standing. One of the most celebrated local firm of architects, MacGabhann Architects, has produced very exciting outline plans for which a Northern Ireland company of quantity surveyors, Conway McBeth, have produced costings. One of the leading graphic design companies in Ireland, Propeller Design Consultants, Galway have devised very suitable branding. This has been a voluntary effort so far with all work being done free of charge because the people concerned have seen the importance of this project and have a vision of how great a project this can become.

At the moment a top UK company is devising an unique interpretive plan. (This work has been supported financially by the Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny and Óstán Loch Áltán – Hotel Loch Áltán, Gortahork.) With the input of the interpretive planners, combined with other professional skills, both local and international, we have no doubt that Ireland and its diaspora will have a centre to be proud of. It will strongly add to the list of experiences to be found along the new touring route, the Wild Atlantic Way and in turn gain from Letterkenny being on that route.

Further information on our campaign can be seen at Donegal People and at Donegal Democrat.

I hope that in the near future I can welcome you to the National Diapora Centre of Ireland at Rockhill but in the meantime we will keep you posted on developments as they happen. If you feel you wish to help in any way, we can be contacted via infoATndci.ie or at the address or telephone number below.

Adrian Gallagher
Director