10th Anniversary of the Letter from Ireland

We're having a birthday celebration here in Cork, and not just any birthday - it's the 10th anniversary of this Letter from Ireland!

I'm sipping on my regular cup of Barry's Tea, do join me with a cup of whatever you fancy yourself, as I share the story of how this little Letter from Ireland came to be.

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10th Anniversary of the Letter from Ireland


We published the very first “Letter from Ireland” back in June 2013. At the time, we already had a Facebook page called “Your Irish Heritage” (which you can still find here) where we shared Irish stories, pictures and answered lots of Irish family history questions.

As time went on, we felt the natural limitations of Facebook, and I thought to myself, “wouldn’t it be grand to send a letter out around the world every week with a few stories?” Carina thought it was a great idea so we decided to give it a go.

Our first “Letter from Ireland” went out to 175 people on June 2nd, 2013, and it went something like this:

“Céad Míle Fáilte” – to this first edition of Your Irish Heritage newsletter! This is Mike here – your newsletter host for today!

Most likely, you are subscribing to this newsletter because you are already familiar with our Facebook page and consider your own Irish Heritage to be a big part of who you are.

Before we start, I have a confession to make! When I encouraged you to sign up – I mentioned that I would keep all the best stuff for the readers of this weekly newsletter. I must say I am a little nervous now that I have to deliver to such a discerning audience. But that’s what we are going to do, we aim to answer the most questions and share the best stories with everyone here on this newsletter. Here we go…

I hit the “send” button, waited nervously for an hour or so and the first replies started to come back. It felt AMAZING! It was as if we were hearing from old friends. Readers started to share family stories, news of trips to Ireland and the all-important Irish surnames in their family tree. I must admit, if we didn’t receive those replies to that first letter, there probably would not have been a second letter…

But here we are today! Over the last ten years, the number of subscribed Letter from Ireland readers has increased to almost 60,000 and we have published well over 500 weekly letters! Along the way, we have made and met so many friends among our community – and it has helped us realise just what a small world this is.

Here are some of our own highlights from the last ten years:

  • Publishing three Letter from Ireland books.
  • Starting “The Green Room” in 2014 – a community of like-minded people of Irish descent (with the expert help of our wonderful genealogists, Jayne McGarvey and Pam Holland).
  • Traveling to England, Scotland, Canada, the USA, and Australia to meet our wonderful readers and members.
  • Holding two fun Green Room conferences (called Hooleys) here in Ireland in 2017 and 2019.
  • Starting a podcast – you guessed it – called “The Letter from Ireland Show.
  • Travelling to so many parts of Ireland to see sites of our shared heritage and share photos, videos, and more with you through the Letter, Podcast, the Green Room and all our social media channels.

So, we’d like to finish by saying thank you – “go raibh míle maith agat” (pronounced “gu rev meela mah agut”) to everyone of our wonderful letter readers.

Thank you for being here and taking the time to read the letters and thank you for taking the time to reply. To use a great Irish proverb, “Ar Scath a Chéile a Mhaireann na Daoine” – meaning “we live in the shelter of one another”. Never a truer word!

Here’s to another 10 years and more of the Letter from Ireland. Realise that your support, friendship and replies mean more than you can ever imagine!

Slán for now, Mike & Carina.

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