Heather Humphreys launched a new cultural initiative called Creative Ireland at the Irish Consulate in New York on Friday. [...] Creative Ireland is the government’s Legacy Program for Ireland 2016. It is a five-year all-of-government initiative, from 2017 to 2022, which at its core is a strategy which aims to improve access to cultural and creative activity in every county across the country and among the diaspora.

Farmers have called on the government to reopen the Irish embassy in Iran, which was closed in 2011. Patrick Kent, the President of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA), said there would be “huge opportunities for exports of beef and sheep meat to Iran” if full diplomatic relations were to resume between the two countries.

The now US President-elect Donald Trump promised to end the long-standing J-1 Visa programme last August, which would bring about the end of what has become an institution for generations of Irish students. But will his administration actually axe the programme? [...] While concern over the long-term future of the J1 Visa programme is understandably high after the election results of November 8th, the Honourable Kevin O’Malley, Ambassador of the United States of America to Ireland, doubts that Trump’s administration will actually go ahead with the proposed change.

“The cultural exchange is so important for finding commonalities and learning about differences, traditions and every day life, and you really become more immersed in the cultural than you would by just reading about it,” West said. “We have members from Iowa, Minnesota — people really want to support the connection to Ireland.”

“With the advent of blockchain becoming on stream, we saw its potential in 2010 and 2011,” Thompson said. “You could have something that could intermediate in the distribution of the international aid with full traceability.” In 2012, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke about the seriously worrying levels of aid corruption globally.

Ahead of tomorrow’s International Day of the Girl, children’s rights charity Plan International is lobbying the Government to target more of Ireland’s foreign aid budget at empowering young girls. "In a developing country, girls are the most excluded group of all and by focussing on getting girls into education and offering them an adult life beyond the domestic, they can effect enormous change in their own countries and communities,” 

The French have charcuterie, the Spanish embutidos and the Italians affettati misti. But we don’t yet seem to have a name for a uniquely Irish selection of cured meats. That might have to change, as there has been a big increase in interest in producing salami and air-dried meats here.

A yearlong digital training course for Irish high school teachers started in 2014. A fund to help European news outlets adapt to the web popped up in 2015. And in March, a virtual reality exhibition began at a Belgian museum to showcase a Renaissance painter. All these projects are aimed at supporting European culture and education, helping the region embrace the fast-changing online world. And all are financed by Google