Pat Kenny interviews Minister Leo Varadkar. Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

On Tuesday 3rd of December the team at The Gathering Dublin went to the Guinness Storehouse, the brand home of the famous pint of ruby red stout, to bear witness to the launch of all the festivals and events  The Gathering Ireland has planned for 2013.

After arriving our team of two made our way up to the fifth floor Arthur’s Bar for a cup of tea and a glass of Diet Coke. Soon we were able to bring together our full roster made up of representatives from Baseball Ireland, the Irish American Football Association and Cricket Ireland. Considering our American Football player was around 6’8” (or so he seemed to me) we definitely stood out in the crowd made up of media, those involved in tourism and other Gatherings from around Ireland. These included The Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival , a new Gathering celebrating the work of Irish poet WB Yeats and The Town Of A Thousand Beards.

The MC for the event was Irish broadcaster Pat Kenny, host of political discussion program The Frontline, who introduced us to the crowd first. First!  No pressure at all. With no chance for a second go I explained to Pat about the sporting tournaments we’re hosting in South Dublin while our sporting people were suitably sporty behind me.

So impressive were they that they became the focus of all the photos taken that day.

Peter Kavanagh (left) from the Dublin City Hurricanes baseball team and Eoin O'Sullivan (right) from the Drogheda Lightning football team pose with Minister Leo Varadkar. Photo: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland
What a nice photo of Transport Minister Leo Varadkar showing off his psychic powers. I’m sure when the budget was announced the next day they came in handy. If in the future he needs any bodyguards Peter Kavanagh and Eoin O’Sullivan (pictured above) would be happy to help out.

It was a very positive launch and while a few words were said about Gabriel Byrne's comments (but not by me!) the buzz was palpable in the room. It reminded me of the launch we held recently in South Dublin for our Gathering. Held back in October, check out our video of it below.