Tipperary with a population of 158,754 is one of the most populated rural Counties nationally. Tipperary is the 6th largest county in Ireland with a land mass of 4,303 km sq. The county is centrally located, is bounded by eight counties and no part of the county touches the coast. The County adjoins three of the provinces of Ireland and has high quality linkages (i.e. road and rail) to all of the major cities, airports and ports.
Under the 2015 Local Diaspora Engagement call, Tipperary County Council supported three Community groups to make application under the scheme. Fortunately, for the County the three applications were successful – Finnoe, Kilbarron, Terryglass Reaching Out, Tipperary Chamber International Network, Clonmel and Tipperary Integrated Rural Development (TIRD, Connect Tipperary) focussing on Tipperary Town/ West Tipperary. The three successful projects have differing focus for example; Terryglass is a genealogy based Connect Ireland model, Clonmel is an international ‘Business to Business’ networking initiative while Tipperary Town is focused, in conjunction with Connect Ireland on a ‘Connect Tipperary’ scheme which actively involves the local business community in the promotion of Tipperary town and west Tipperary as a location for business, investment and as a great place to live and work. Initiatives to date include a Connect Ireland launch by the Canadian Ambassador in Terryglass, Tipperary Breakfast in London, ICT Showcase and connecting with the Tipperary Diaspora globally.
2016. Strategic Action Plan
Building on the success of the 2015 projects and roll out of the three initiatives in Terryglass, Clonmel and Tipperary, the Tipperary County Council strategy for 2016 will involve the establishment of an inter-organisation marketing group to implement the strategic actions referred to in the Local Community & Economic Plan 2016-2020 including further exploration of connectivity and opportunities offered through the Diaspora schemes. In addition Tipperary Co Co will maintain existing momentum and with the support of the 2016 scheme propose to double the number of Diaspora projects extending their reach across the county. Tipperary County Council will seek to maximise the potential social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits of the Diaspora projects for the County. The all county strategy will reflect existing Council priorities adding value to present efforts in the area of countywide promotion and will by year end yield a number of successful models of best practice that can be replicated across the County in future years. The strategy will address engagement, the tools required to connect with the people such as website, promotional material, Connect Ireland briefings, Ambassador Programme development etc.
A total of six local groups were encouraged to make application under the 2016 Local Diaspora Engagement Fund Call. These include;
- Carrick on Suir- through COSTEDC (Carrick on Suir Tourism and Economic Development Committee), the application is centred on developing the ‘Friends of Carrick’ concept which has been in existence since 2004.
- Clonmel- progress on B2B network internationally, looking at the UK, US and Middle East.
- Tipperary Town-propose to enhance and progress with ‘Connect Tipperary’ project and engage with a number of inward investment leads that have emerged from the 2015 initiative.
- Thurles- business focused and leveraging on significant GAA contacts in the Diaspora from the ‘Home of Hurling and the GAA’.
- Roscrea- Roscrea reaching Out –leveraging on an existing industrial base in the town and region, particularly in food production and tourism.
- Terryglass- continued focus on the genealogical aspects of engagement with the Diaspora in Ottawa Canada and North America. The genealogy aspect has also been helpful in Tipperary town during 2015 where the lineage of Tipperary business people is being established as part of their initial engagement.