The Hollywood actor made headlines last year when he described The Gathering as a sham during an interview in New York with Irish radio station Today Fm.
“People are sick to death of being asked to help out in what they regard as a scam,” Byrne said at the time.
The Evening Herald reports that Project Director of The Gathering Jim Miley told a Marketing Society members' breakfast in the St Stephen's Green Hibernian Club in Dublin that the actor's disparaging remarks did Irish tourism a favor.
However Miley, a former General Secretary of Fine Gael, said Byrne’s remarks were disrespectful to the Irish Prime Minister.
A former cultural ambassador to Ireland, Byrne described Prime Minister Enda Kenny's speech launching The Gathering as 'offensive.'
Miley, the project director of the Irish tourism initiative, gave a briefing on the Gathering and how it’s working to sell Ireland abroad.
The Irish tourism initiative kicked off with a New Year’s Eve Festival in Dublin. It aims to attract an additional 350,00 tourists to Ireland in 2013.