Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Michael Ring has urged anyone interested in the Gathering Ireland 2013 to head along to one of the last three Town Hall meetings being held over the next two weeks in Mayo, Limerick, and Kerry.

Some 7,000 people have attended 52 of these meetings since they kicked off in June, including at least 5,000 people in the last two months. Some 600 new Gathering events are now being planned at community level.

“The Town Hall meetings have been a great success. Thousands of people have attended, and loads of great events and Gatherings have been identified. The whole point of these meetings was to get communities involved right across Ireland, and the response has been tremendous,” Minister Ring said.

“I’m delighted that so many people took the opportunity to find out more, and to see how their families, businesses and communities can be part of it all. I would urge people everywhere to start making plans for their own Gatherings.”

These meetings are an opportunity for people to find out how they can get involved in the Gathering, and see how it can benefit their own region. They have also generated loads of new ideas:

International Garda Festival, Longford – Ireland’s first Ban Garda came from Co. Longford and a Gathering is being planned to invite female police officers to Longford from across the world to participate.

Dig Deep in Castlecomer – A Gathering is being organised in Castlecomer to invite miners and people whose family members worked in the Castlecomer mines to come back for a reunion in 2013 and record their stories for posterity.

Lighthouse Keepers’ Reunion – Hook Lighthouse is one of the world’s most famous and photographed lighthouses. A gathering of lighthouse keepers from all over the world is being planned, including a visit to the lighthouse, is being planned by Wexford communities.

Gathering Ireland Project Director Jim Miley said: ‘The momentum is really building for the Gathering and the community meetings really were a big part of this. There are over 600 Gatherings already planned and so many of those great ideas came directly out of the Community meetings. I would encourage people to extend an invitation to people they know overseas to come to their gathering. Big or small, corporate or community these gatherings will benefit communities.’

The final three Gathering Ireland 2013 Town Hall meetings are taking place as follows:

Wednesday 17th October, The Broadhaven Bay Hotel, Belmullet, Co. Mayo;
Tuesday 23rd October, Limerick Strand Hotel, Limerick;
Thursday 25th October, The Dingle Skellig Hotel, Kerry.

All are invited and encouraged to attend and take this opportunity to get involved in The Gathering Ireland 2013, or to get further information on the Gathering Ireland 2013, and find out how you can plan a Gathering in your local community.


The Gathering 2013 - bringing the Irish Diaspora back homeGoogle Images