Further to the Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny launching “The Gathering”, a year-long tourism drive that will see the Irish Diaspora return to Ireland in 2013 during the biggest homecoming of a nations sons and daughters the world has ever seen, two Irish entrepreneurs have launched their website to facilitate the event.
Irishgathering2013.com was the brainchild of Sabrina and Christine Joyce, great grandnieces of the Irish writer James Joyce. The two Irish women decided to create the website in a national initiative to get Irish citizens involved along with the government in preparations for The Irish Gathering in 2013.
Sabrina Joyce is a business woman and patron of the Arts in Dublin, Ireland, and has a home grown affection for making and keeping Irish connections abroad. “We wanted to create a portal for our Irish brothers and sisters abroad to make connections with lost relatives and their tribe’s descendants. Being an enthusiast in the area of genealogy, it occurred to me while helping my own father trace our family line how many walls there are that people may run into during the process. We believe it is every Irish man’s and woman’s right to know who they are and where they come from in Ireland, so we have provided information where you can trace your ancestry free of charge. We are also in the process of designing a ‘Tribes Forum’ to get you talking to the folks back home. You can speak to other Shaunessys, Callaghans and O’Boyles back home and see if there is any family resemblance online.”
Her sister Christine Joyce, a musician and portrait artist, is the other driving force behind irishgathering2013.com and has been drumming up support from her famous friends to get the website off the ground. “I approached my friend Jim Fitzpatrick who is not only infamous for his beautiful Irish Celtic Art and portrayal of heroes and heroines such as Cú Chulainn and Queen Maeve of Irish legends, he is also the man behind the iconic Che Guevara poster from 1968. Jim Fitzpatrick has had a profound effect on the way viral imagery has evolved and who better to have on board for launching our campaign than him! Jim has pledge 8 signed prints which he has released exclusively for the launch irishgathering2013.com. You can own one of these prints by pledging your support for the website through our Indiegogo.com campaign.”
Christine has also designed limited edition Joycean postcards for the launch of the Indiegogo project.
“The older I get, the more James Joyce’s words resonate in me when I read them. I think that’s the way it is with lots of great writers, they walk with you through lifes journeys like a friend and at some moments in your life, you think of their words and they make you laugh like a lunatic or cry like a schoolgirl with her first broken heart.” The sisters will also have a complete events listing on irishgathering2013.com and invite others to submit their events, from any area to do with The Irish Gathering. Christines influence as a musician will further the scope of the listings. “I think all areas of art should stand side by side, personally, I wanted to create an events guide that puts up and coming Irish rock bands along with classical recitals and events orgainised by your tribes. I’d love to be involved in a re-enactment of the Battle of the Boyne and then go to a metal rock gig afterwards, I could probably leave the armour costume on from one event to the next!”
If you wish to pledge your support to Sabrina and Christine Joyce visit irishgathering2013.com and follow the directions to their Indiegogo campaing page.