The Gathering 2013
The followinf information is sourced from www.thegatheringireland.com. Check out the official website for further information....
The Gathering Ireland 2013 is about the people of Ireland throwing open our arms and inviting anyone with a connection to our country to come and visit.
It’s about asking anyone who has Irish blood, a link to Ireland, or even just a love of our country – to join us for a series of amazing and diverse events throughout 2013.
They will range from clan gatherings where people will discover their roots, to rugby clubs inviting foreign teams to their sevens tournament, and groups of international business colleagues conferencing in Ireland.
Those amazing events will be created by you, your neighbour, your work colleague or your sports team. They will be organised by individuals, groups, business colleagues and clubs within the community who will reach out to their worldwide networks. For those organising the events, there will be lots of information, help and support available on this website over the coming months.
The Gathering is a powerful grass-roots movement. By reconnecting with our global community, it will be like completing an electrical circuit. Energy will flow and our community will light up and sparkle with its own vitality.
Let’s light up 2013 with an unprecedented celebration of Ireland’s global community, and our past, present and future.
Who is involved??
We need you to get involved in The Gathering Ireland 2013! This year of celebration is a public-led countrywide initiative so it will only be as great as the people who lead it.
The Gathering is a people’s project. It’s all about you, your family, your neighbours, your sports club, your college – in fact, whatever community or group you belong to – planning special events that will highlight what is great about that community and Ireland as a whole.
We hope you’ll reach out to your international networks, far-flung groups of friends and colleagues, or even people you’re connected to but haven’t met yet, and invite them to Ireland for a fun-filled year of celebration.
The Gathering has many stakeholders, partners and supporters, including Government departments, State bodies, local authorities, local development companies, private businesses, the global Irish community and the tourism industry. The initiative is also fully supported by Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland. But Irish individuals and community groups – both at home and abroad – are at the heart of the Gathering.
What it means to be Irish...
You’re in a far-flung corner of the world when a stranger on a bus asks where you’re from. When you say Galway, Ireland, he asks if you know his third cousins in Portumna. Ireland’s not that small you think, but of course it turns out you do know the Flynns! When you’re Irish, it’s not a case of six degrees of separation; it’s more like two!
Maybe it’s not that surprising when you think that today there are roughly one million Irish-born people living abroad and an Irish diaspora of around 70 million Irish around the globe.
You leave your new friend saying you’ll meet up when he comes to Ireland. You know it’s a special thing to be linked by a magic thread to a vast inter-connected global community and to come from a little island with enormous national pride. And you’d like to share that.
You’d like to show him all that’s great about Ireland – our UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Newgrange and Skellig Michael; the stark stony beauty of the Burren; or the wonder of the Book of Kells, penned by those monks more than a thousand years ago. Or what about sitting on the Cliffs of Moher watching surfers riding epic waves below, or admiring the grace of Galway hooker boats on a summer’s evening racing along the west coast?
But you’d also like him to experience the stuff that can’t be photographed or properly described, the Irish experiences that just have to be felt – that explosive buzz of a hard-fought All Ireland hurling final, the way a great Irish pub can put its friendly arm around your shoulder, or a random stranger cracking you up with a witty comment.
He’ll also have to be introduced to the notion that Tayto crisps are a culinary delicacy and that Father Ted is a work of genius. And, of course, he’ll need to be initiated into the art of amateur weather forecasting.
In a nutshell, you’d just love him to experience what it means to be Irish.
Did you know that one of the Young Irelanders, the 19th Century Irish revolutionaries, later became governor of Montana? And that the first Catholic prime minister of Australia, Jim Scullin, was of Irish descent?
Or that the island of Montserrat is the only country in the world, apart from Ireland, that has a public holiday on St Patrick's day? That’s because a failed slave uprising took place here on March 17, 1768. Many of the slaves on Montserrat were Irish people that were transported under Cromwellian rule.
And it’s not just a historical phenomenon either. In more recent times, Irishman Bob Geldof has literally and metaphorically rocked the world in his efforts to draw attention to the crippling effects of poverty and debt in Africa and the developing world.
The point we’re trying to make is that you’ll find people with Irish blood scattered right across the globe, and that many of them made a huge contribution to society in their new homes.
In fact, the Irish diaspora comprises an astonishing 70 million people around the globe. This includes Irish people who were born in Ireland and emigrated, people of Irish descent, or people with a close direct link but non-family link to Ireland. Just take a look at our map of the global Irish community and you’ll see some of the destinations where they live. It’s easy to imagine the influence that the people have had on their new homes.
But we don’t want you to stop there with letting your imagination run riot. We want you to reach out and make contact with them. We want you to invite anyone with a connection to Ireland to come and visit – so they can tell their stories; so they reconnect with family, relatives and friends; so they can make new friends – and so they can rediscover their history and join in a modern celebration of Ireland.