Sonia O’Sullivan encourages Irish abroad to return home for Dublin Marathon

Sonia O’Sullivan encourages Irish abroad to return home for Dublin Marathon

THIS year's Dublin Marathon gives runners the exciting chance to run with one of Ireland’s most celebrated athletes, former World Champion Sonia O’Sullivan.

Minister for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan, TD, has joined forces with Tourism Ireland and Irish Olympic medalist O’Sullivan to invite members of Ireland’s diaspora home to run the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon on October 26, 2015.

Sonia O’Sullivan said: “I am thrilled to be involved in this exciting initiative which provides a great opportunity for members of the diaspora to network and participate in a great sporting event. I will be leading a team of emigrants in this year’s race and urge all those who can to get involved.”

Minister Deenihan added: “The SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon is one of Ireland’s most prestigious sporting events. I hope that members of our diaspora will consider signing up and travelling home to take part. The marathon is an opportunity not only to visit home but also to meet with other Irish people living and working all over the world.

“The recently launched 'Global Irish: Ireland's Diaspora Policy' emphasised the importance of facilitating two-way diaspora engagement at local, national and international level. I hope that this effort to bring members of our diaspora back to participate in the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon will contribute to achieving this and will also encourage other similar initiatives throughout Ireland.”

The new high profile sports event will be supplemented by a networking event attended by Tourism Ireland, the IDA, Enterprise Ireland and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade aimed specifically at giving the diaspora attending an opportunity to network with fellow participants who have travelled home.

Mark Henry, Tourism Ireland’s central marketing director, added: “Tourism Ireland’s aim is to ensure that 2015 is the best year ever for Irish tourism and we have certainly seen an exceptional performance so far (from North America – up almost +15% on the first half in 2014, making it another record year).

We are determined to ensure that tourism growth continues and are delighted to join Minister Deenihan in welcoming the diaspora home to participate in the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon. Initiatives such as this continue to build on the success of The Gathering in 2013 and will help ensure continued growth in tourism numbers.”