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Lighthouse keepers share a joke. “The Gathering – Reflections of Ireland”, reflections on being Irish and on Ireland itself.

Spectacular photos in “Reflections of Ireland” help support Irish Hospice

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Lighthouse keepers share a joke. “The Gathering – Reflections of Ireland”, reflections on being Irish and on Ireland itself.

The Irish Hospice Foundation has released a 256-page coffee table book “The Gathering – Reflections of Ireland,” including contributions from Bono, Brian O’Driscoll, Commander Chris Hadfield and many more.

All proceeds from sales of the book, developed as a memento of Ireland’s year-long tourism initiative, will go to the Irish Hospice Foundation.

The book contains thoughtful reflections on being Irish and on Ireland itself. It includes over 60 stories, reflections and photographs capturing an extraordinary time for Ireland. The Foundation has kindly given IrishCentral access to these wonderful photos, some of which can be viewed below.

Contributors include U2's Bono, rugby star Brian O’Driscoll, author Colum McCann, broadcaster Fergal Keane, Olympic gold medalist Katie Taylor, Ireland House's Loretta Brennan Glucksman, sportscaster Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh, Riverdance's Moya Doherty, designer Simone Rocha, Irish Central’s founder Niall O’Dowd, the late Seamus Heaney and many others.

“The Gathering – Reflections of Ireland” also includes Gathering events such as “The Famine Attic Experience,” the return of the “Hide and Seek Children” – Slovak Jewish children who spent a year recovering in Ireland in 1948 after the Holocaust; and the “Gathering of the Stones” where masons from Ireland and abroad constructed a special dry wall structure in Offaly incorporating granite blocks from the old immigrant docks in New York.

The book manages to capture the variety of experiences of being Irish (or feeling Irish) – at home and abroad. Some of the stories make us laugh. Some are very personal and moving. Others take a more critical look at who we “the Irish” are and our place in the world. They are thoughtful and thought-provoking.

To purchase the book visit HospiceFoundation.ie.

Here's a selection of photos from the book:

When Notre Dame came to Ireland.

Lighthouse keepers enjoying a chuckle at the Lighthouse Keepers Gathering.

Bono and President Michael D Higgins speak during "Glaoch - The President's Call" at Áras an Uachtaráin

"Hide and Seek Children”. Slovak Jewish children who spent a year recovering in Ireland. in 1948 after the Holocaust.

A quiet moment between grandmother and grandchild.

You couldn't stop these young ones gathering if you wanted to!

Possibly the most Irish and adorable group shot in the country.

Fishing from a Curragh boat.

 Surfing on the Blasket Islands, in Kerry.

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