The first Indo-Irish cultural society has been been formed in County Wexford to enhance social and cultural relations between the two countries and enrich the artistic talents of its members.
The first president is Dr George Leslie, a GP and writer based in Enniscorthy who said the society will try to bring the two communities together through a sharing of culture and heritage.
One of the first events is a special free performance at the Enniscorthy Rhythms and Roots Festival in the Market Square on Sunday, June 2 at 4.30pm by the internationally acclaimed Indian violinist and composer Manoj George who won a Grammy Award in 2015 for his album 'The Winds of Samsara'.
Dr Leslie, who has lived and worked in Ireland for the past two decades, said it is the first ever organisation aiming to unite the Irish and Indian communities through cultural endeavours.
A writer in his own language, Dr Leslie was involved in literary activities in his native Kerala and is currently translating some of Seamus Heaney's poetry into the Malayalam language.
The society's secretary is Rejith Thomas, also from Kerala, and a HSE employee based in New Ross, who described it as a voluntary, non-profit organisation free of race, religion and political affiliation.
'The society's mission is to preserve, promote and encourge the positive attributes of Indian and Irish culture, to encourage public gatherings and enhance social, cultural and community services in Ireland', he said.
Mr. Thomas said the committee has sought the support and co-operation of the Indian diplomatic mission in Ireland and members recently met with the Indian Ambassador during his first visit to the county.
'We will be liaising with the mission for our future initiatives in this line', he added.
There are nearly 37,000 Indians living in Ireland, including about 800 people in County Wexford.