Irish envoy lends support to local Irish expats
By Philip Iglauer
The Irish Embassy in Seoul lent its support to the Irish Association of Korea’s year-end fundraiser titled “An Irish Christmas” in Itaewon, Dec. 17.
“The Irish Diaspora is enormous. Although the population of Ireland is only 7 million, there are more than 80 million Irish and people of Irish heritage living outside the island worldwide,” Irish Ambassador to Korea Emmon McKee said, during the weekend fundraiser.
McKee said one of the main purposes of the Irish diplomatic mission here is to connect with the Irish community in Korea and lend support whenever the embassy can to Irish citizens and people of Irish heritage.
There are approximately 900 Irish citizens in Korea.
Its fundraiser drew a capacity crowd of supporters, perhaps many more judging by the size of the throng of Irish revelers at The Wolfhound.
IAK President Conor O'Reilly said some 200 people attended the fundraiser, twice the number from last year.
He said that the money the IAK raised will go to support the association's activities, particularly IAK's signature St. Patrick's Day Festival which occurs in mid-March.
The association is working on creating a memorial for Irish ho fought with U.N. forces in the Korea War.
IAK was formed in 2001.
O'Reilly said that although there is not an accurate counting of total association members, about 100 have 'liked' its facebook page. it has a loose organizing committee of 12 volunteers.
Ben Row and David Holden, and Dara Sheahan played Irish music for the crowd on the bottom floor of popular Irish-themed pub.
For more information about the IAK or its Irish War Memorial, check out its Web site at ihttp://iak.co.kr/.