The Maine Irish Heritage Center is based out of the West End’s Saint Dominic’s Church on the corner of State and Gray Street. The venue is known for hosting a variety of events including concerts, weddings and gatherings, but most recently the Irish Heritage Center hosted Ireland’s Consul General.
The Consul General of Ireland, Ms. Fionnuala Quinlan, visited the Maine Irish Heritage Center last Friday, November 13th, to award a grant from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs. The Irish Heritage Center has been promoting Irish culture and heritage in Maine for several years through volunteers.
The grant of $40,000 will be used to hire an Executive Director for the Maine Irish Heritage Center. The new Executive Director will be responsible for several duties including community outreach to Irish cultural groups and people of Irish descent across Maine.
The Maine Irish Heritage Center also operates the Maine Gaeltacht DNA project, through which Mainers can trace their heritage back to Ireland. In October, researchers from the Maine Irish Heritage Center presented their findings from the Gaeltacht DNA project at a conference in County Galway.
Fionnuala Quinlan was appointed Consul General in September of 2015. Before she took up this role she served as Director of Press Relations at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. In this role she managed the Department’s engagement with media outlets. When she joined the department in 2009, Fionnuala was the Press Advisor for Irish Aid and traveled throughout Africa and Asia in that role.