Connecting with Your Irish Heritage –
The Wild Geese
For centuries the Irish have dispersed many of their best and brightest to far away lands. Few countries have such an expansive history of emigration… and this tendency continues even today.
As a result, Irish traditions have developed that relate specifically to this legacy, such as the Irish wake (which is a special farewell for someone who is living rather than dead) and the greeting “How long you home for?” (which is often said to the diaspora returning to Ireland… even if several generations have passed).
For the families who left the Emerald Isle, their heritage has been passed down and a distinct Irish identity has developed. This has contributed to the development of Irish organizations around the world.
Your Irish Identity in the Age of the Internet
Now, the internet serves as a tool that connects the dispersed Irish both to Ireland and to other members of the diaspora… extending well beyond the geographic boundaries.
This is evident in the popularity of this blog, other Irish-interest websites, and various groups on Facebook. However, there’s a chance you might not know about another online resource called The Wild Geese (www.thenewwildgeese.com). The organization takes its name from the era of the Treaty of Limerick in 1691 when soldiers fleeing Ireland for France were listed as “wild geese.”
The Wild Geese online community highlights stories and information of special interest to Ireland’s “wild geese” who moved to points around the globe. Their website provides a place where members can post and discuss articles and photos. Like any community, members get what they put into it, so the more involved you get, the more useful it will become.
I’ve been impressed with the community and articles that get posted, and the Irish Fireside has signed on as a Heritage Partner.
Celebrating Your Irish Heritage
For a new visitor, I’d suggest signing up for a free membership and having a look around (you won’t get inundated with unsolicited emails… however, I do recommend signing up for their email updates). The “Editor’s Choice” articles on their homepage are a good place to start. From there, you can poke around to find a question & answer forum, This Week in Irish History, and several other features.
Take a peek at The Wild Geese website.
Photo credit: Corey Taratuta at Nenagh Castle