Céad Mile Fáilte from The Great Game Fairs of Ireland As Countrysports Diaspora Established

If you’re Irish come to an Irish Game Fair there’s a Great Game Fairs of Ireland welcome here for you!

This was the message that came along with news of a new Great Game Fairs of Ireland Diaspora to cater specially for any Irish countrysports enthusiasts living abroad or those with families living in the Game Fair host areas of County Offaly or County Antrim areas.

Come along and enjoy the excitement of lance and sword at the Medieval jousting event at Birr in County Offaly.
Come along and enjoy the excitement of lance and sword at the Medieval jousting event at Birr in County Offaly.

Great Game Fairs Director Albert Titterington explained: “We received ‘pump priming’ funds of €1,500 from the Taoiseach’s Local Engagement Diaspora fund to help create a Diaspora around our events. This will enable us to build links amongst countrysports enthusiasts of Irish extraction throughout the world. It will also help create Disaporas with Irish abroad who have family links with the Fairs’ host areas of Co Offaly and Co Antrim areas.

“We now invite all Irish countrysports enthusiasts and everyone in Co Offaly and Co Antrim to get involved, especially those from what were the dominant families in the area – the O’Carrolls in Offaly and the O’Neills in Co Antrim.”

Apart from the Game Fairs held in Antrim and Offaly which attract thousand to their annual events, Albert Titterington also produces Irish Countrysports and Country Life magazine in both hard copy and online versions, with around 80,000 readers per issue.

Albert Titterington added: “We communicate with so many people on a national and international scale and there is an increasingly international focus on the Shanes Castle and Birr Castle Game Fairs. We also interact worldwide through Social Media and our other web-based activities. This puts us in a unique position to reach out on a global basis and create Irish forums whose common interest is countrysports.”

Albert confirmed that a great start had been made already by enlisting support from the 26,000 strong National Association of Regional Game Councils (NARGC) and the 20,000 strong Federation of Salmon and Sea Trout Anglers of Ireland (FISSTA) to help spread the news of this exciting new initiative. And he urged ex pats everywhere to access news and views from Ireland via the online version of the magazine, special feature in the magazine, and through the fair and magazine websites.

“We will feature a special Diaspora News Section in Irish Country sports & Country Life and our websites for members of the Diaspora living outside Ireland to report on sport in their locality, share memories of home and link up with friends and family in Ireland. Countrysports enthusiasts living in Ireland can also reach out to friends and family living abroad and encourage them to get together at one of our fairs.”

Part and parcel of the Great Game Fairs Céad Mile Fáilte will be free tickets to the fairs for any friends with an address outside of Ireland. Visitors to the fair from abroad can also meet their friends and family in a special Diaspora area where the visitors will receive a special ‘Diaspora Welcome Pack.’

Finally Albert Titterington said that this initiative would strengthen links amongst countrysports enthusiasts and their families worldwide, and encourage many to think about their family roots in Antrim and Offaly. Many other exciting initiatives are planned which will be launched on the fairs websites and at the fairs in 2016 see: