Gaelic Girls

The state of Pennsylvania, USA, has a history of Irish immigration dating back to the early 1700s. As was common in those days the new settlers had many challenges to overcome, but in good old Irish style they battled through. Initially concentrated in counties such as Chester, Lancaster, Northampton and Northumberland, and along the Maryland line, they eventually began spreading west or south-west and by 1975 the migration of Irish across the state was complete.

Further waves of immigration occurred over the following centuries, culminating in the strong Irish communities that exist there today.

In 1987 Sandy Sheerin and her three sisters left Ireland as young girls and settled in a small rural town in Pleasant Mount, Pennsylvania. Now in their 30s the girls are very aware of how those in Pennsylvania and beyond cherish their heritage, and have embarked on a venture to bring the country of Ireland closer to those communities.

Introducing GAELIC GIRLS, a television production based on the four girls travelling back to Ireland to re-discover it. Each with their own personal interest:

Culture : The history/heritage and culture of the island.
Luxury : The wonderful resorts/retreats/getaways in Ireland.
Fun : The festivals/events/pubs that are a must-see here.
Shopping : The talented Irish designers with quaint boutiques and shops.

Sandy has been working hard to get this project off the ground and has :

  • achieved approval from 5 PBS Television stations in the U.S who love the concept
  • gained the support of various companies who have offered free services for the project
  • gathered a range of volunteers willing to offer their time and skills.

Her efforts so far have managed to trim $100,000 off the overall budget, and without any drop in quality. Her new challenge – the original funders for the project have pulled out due to difficulties caused by the current economic climate.

I like this project for reasons beyond the obvious tourist benefits, however let’s look at it from an economic perspective for the moment:

- The required budget to make this production is $150,000
- If, let’s say, it results in 200 additional tourists next year it will have more than paid for itself.

The fact that Sandy and her sisters have lived in the USA most of their lives also means they know how to engage with their audience, and how to capture their interest and imagination.

Sandy Sheerin - Gaelic GirlsSo, if you’re reading this and have involvement, contacts, or influence with any state agencies, or know of any avenues that Sandy can pursue to move the funding forward, she’d really appreciate it if you got in touch with her. The project has recently received a commitment from Tourism Ireland so the seeds are sown, it now needs to come to fruition.

Sandy can be contacted by email at sandrasheerin@gmail.com. She’s very easy to talk to, warm, professional, determined, she has a great project here and it deserves all the support it can get.

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