Momentum for The Gathering Ireland 2013, the most ambitious tourism initiative ever undertaken in Ireland, continues to grow following a successful series of community meetings across the country.
Up to 50 community meetings are planned for autumn as preparations for 2013 gather pace.
Almost 2,000 people have participated in 11 meetings to date, share ideas for gatherings in their community and exploring how they can be part of the Gathering Ireland 2013.
Jim Miley, Gathering Project Director says “There has been terrific energy and creativity at the community meetings, as communities mobilize in advance of The Gathering Ireland 2013.
“The Gathering Ireland 2013 is a grass roots vision for people in Ireland to commit to finding ways to bring overseas contacts to Ireland in 2013. While there will be large headline national festivals and events throughout 2013, the real opportunity for success is through communities throughout Ireland holding creative and unique Gatherings.
“The success of The Gathering Ireland 2013 relies on the people of Ireland getting behind the initiative and reaching out to people at home and abroad to celebrate this one-off yearlong celebration. Up to 50 town hall meetings are scheduled to take place and people from all walks of life are urged to attend, participate and get organizing their own Gatherings.”
The community meetings are helping to set up exciting plans Gatherings for 2013.
- Carndonagh Community School Gathering August 2013
Carndonagh Community School in Donegal has over 10,000 former pupils that can be traced across 90 countries over a 40 year period.
In August 2013 they plan to host the Carndonagh Community School Gathering that will bring together alumni and/or their descendants to Carndonagh for a massive reunion. Already 2,100 people across the world have expressed an interest in the Gathering reunion through their website and Facebook pages.
Organiser John Collins said “We’re very excited about the prospects of the Carndonagh Community School 40th Anniversary Reunion. It’s potentially a gathering of massive proportions, incorporating not only the school itself but the community at large”.
-Roscommon Female Vet Gathering
Aileen Cust was the first female vet to practice in the British Isles getting the opportunity to do so in Athleague Roscommon. Roscommon native Gerry Browne is planning to have a Gathering of female vets from across the world in Roscommon to mark this event, using existing Veterinary networks to spread the details of the event.
-‘Strictly come Set Dancing’, Listowel, Co. Kerry
This is already a successful Set Dancing Weekend. Now in its 10th year in Listowel, the group want to invite dancing groups from across the world for a weekend or workshops in Sean Nos dancing, Jive dancing and Irish Set Dancing.
Ms.Philpott, the organiser said “International set dancing weekends will be an opportunity for people to come from all over the world to learn different sets and steps in the beautiful setting of Listowel.”
-Chronicles of the Fitzgerald Clan
This is a seven-day tour of Ireland's most popular historical sites linked with the FitzGerald Clan, one of the most powerful families in Irish history. The Fitzgerald Clan Gathering will invite Fitzgerald’s across the globe to come to Ireland between the 28th June to the 5th July and take part in Gathering Ireland and 2013.
Details of additional Gatherings from the first round of town hall meetings have been shared on the website www.theGatheringIreland.com.
Jim Miley said “Organizing a Gathering within your family or your community can have direct positive consequences for your community and for Ireland as a whole. Turning ideas into Gatherings is the next critical step and we are encouraging people to log onto the website, look at the resources available online and create something in their community that will contribute to bringing tourists to Ireland and making 2013 an extraordinarily special year for Ireland.”