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Dun Laoghaire Harbour is Fitting Home for Global Diaspora Forum 2013

22nd February 2013
Dun Laoghaire Harbour is Fitting Home for Global Diaspora Forum 2013

#dunlaoghaire – Dún Laoghaire will play host to the European strand of the Global Diaspora Forum in May, it was announced today.

The Global Diaspora Forum is a celebration of diaspora communities, and has been held annually in Washington DC since 2011. The forum was inspired by the former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and is coordinated by the US-based charity, the International Global Diaspora Engagement Alliance (IdEA) and the US State Department.

The European strand will be organised by the Irish International Diaspora Centre (IIDC) Trust, which is working to deliver a world-class diaspora centre in Dublin. The Trust operates under the auspices of Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company.

The decision to bring the Global Diaspora Forum to Ireland was taken by the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, following an approach by Hillary Clinton during her visit to Dublin in December.

The purpose of the forum is to challenge diaspora communities to forge partnerships with the private sector, civil society and public institutions in order to make their engagements with their countries of origin or ancestry effective and sustainable.

Speaking at the announcement of plans for the Global Diaspora Forum, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said: "Whether in delivering peace in Northern Ireland, spurring economic development, raising awareness of our culture and heritage or building a positive brand in their adopted homes around the world, we are very fortunate to have a diaspora who continue to make a meaningful contribution to life in Ireland.

"By bringing together an impressive line-up of international and Irish experts in Dún Laoghaire, the Irish International Diaspora Centre Trust will make real progress in strengthening diaspora relations and giving diaspora policy a more central focus across Europe.

"Through initiatives like the Emigrant Support Programme and the Global Irish Network, Ireland is now recognised as a world leader in diaspora engagement. I am sure our experiences will contribute to an action-oriented forum," he said.

The Global Diaspora Forum will take place in Dún Laoghaire on 14th and 15th May. The main plenary session of the event will link up live with the forum in Washington DC, when it is expected that the Secretary of State John Kerry will participate.

The full speaker list for the European strand of the Global Diaspora Forum will be announced shortly. Keynote speakers confirmed to date include: Robert Guest, Business Editor of The Economist and author of 'Borderless Economics'; Kathleen Newland, Co-Founder of the Migration Policy Institute in Washington; and Kingsley Aikins, Director of Diaspora Matters.

Also speaking at today's announcement of the Global Diaspora Forum was John Hennessey-Niland, Chargé d'Affaires at the US Embassy in Dublin, who said: ""Diasporas are about ties of trust, culture and kinship, but it is important to see that they also can have powerful economic benefits. The US experience shows that Diasporas are classic networks, and through these networks flow information, investment and ultimately jobs. So, to use shorthand: Diaspora equals prosperity. That is one of the reasons that in the US we are paying more and more attention."

Commenting on the role of the IIDC Trust, Eithne Scott Lennon, Board member of the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company said: "Central to the Harbour Company's Master Plan is the delivery of a world-class diaspora centre, which will act as a major visitor location, as well as an information source for people who want to connect with their heritage. In addition, we envision that the diaspora centre will act as a 'space' – both in the physical and virtual sense – where discussions on diaspora can be facilitated. Hosting the Global Diaspora Forum in Dún Laoghaire is a manifestation of our desire to engage with diaspora and on diaspora policy.

"Dún Laoghaire acts as a very significant location for the forum. For centuries, the harbour has served as both the exit point and the entrance point to Ireland for our diaspora communities. This historic association will be an important point of reflection and discussion at the forum," she said.

The Global Diaspora Forum is targeted at leaders of diaspora communities; politicians and policymakers; private sector stakeholders; representatives of international institutions; foundation executives; academic experts; and members of not-for-profit organisations.

Those wishing to secure information on the event can register their interest at:

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Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

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