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Flatley becomes Lord of the Diaspora

'LORD of the Dance' creator Michael Flatley has joined fellow Irish-American icons John F Kennedy, Henry Ford, and Grace Kelly in the newly created Irish-American Hall of Fame.

The former 'Riverdance' star, with wife Niamh and son Michael Saint James, attended yesterday's official opening of Ireland's first centre for emigration history at the €2.6m Dunbrody visitor centre in New Ross, Co Wexford.

Flatley, a Chicago native, was joined by Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar at the quayside of the River Barrow as they toured the facility that incorporates the existing Dunbrody Famine Ship as part of a new interactive experience tracing Irish emigration history.

The centre also honours the lives and achievements of noted Irish-Americans.

Sean Reidy, CEO of the Dunbrody Famine Ship, said the vessel "illustrates the passion and drive of the Irish to succeed in difficult circumstances".

Mr Varadkar said the centre "will play a vital role in keeping Ireland attractive to overseas visitors".

Irish Independent