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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Launch of Gateway Ireland Initiative

Yesterday we launched the Gateway Ireland initiative spearheaded by John McColgan. You can see more about the project at www.gateway-ireland.com. You can also register your opinion of what the website can do for you on the home page. But we'll be adding to the interactivity in the coming days.

I've been working on the project for a number of months now co-ordinating the Feasibility Report which we will present to the Advisory Board in the coming weeks. The seminar "Connecting the Dots" which took place in Dublin Castle on the 26th May 2010 was simply the first public statement of intent. The idea is simple: to create a Website that will connect Ireland with the World and the World with Ireland. The execution will be hard. But we will be relying on the enthusiasm and input of the community in Ireland and the irish Diaspora - online, offline, no line - to help us shape the idea.

I've had a hugely positive experience working on the project. John McColgan's motivation is so whole-heartedly altruistic that you can't help but get swept along by it. Everyone we have engaged in - and this has been necessarily below the radar - sees it as a chance to help Ireland re-define itself in a time of need. I hope everyone else in the community as we open up to it see it in that light. We have over 70 million people around the world claiming Irish descent. Remarkably, that is bigger then the Indian Diaspora. It is madness that we haven't tried to create a platform before to engage with them. Call it a website. Call it a portal. Call it an application. Call it a pterodactyl. Who cares. It's about creating connections. Anyone who runs a business plainly sees the logic of this. All businesses run on connections. Art is about connection. Being human is about connection. Gateway Ireland simply seeks to facilitate those connections harnessing the technology that we now have the privillege to use in our lifetime.

So I look forward to updating you more with the progress on Gateway Ireland - and hearing what you have to say.

posted by Neil Leyden @ 3:59 p.m.

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