05 July 2012
The Gathering – a new initiative aimed at attracting Ireland’s 70m diaspora home in 2013 - has set in motion a schedule of community meetings which will take place across the country from June to October. The first of these meetings have taken place in Roscommon, Clare and Kerry, with more scheduled for the coming months.
The meetings aim to bring communities together to explain what The Gathering is and to discuss how their locality can make the most out of The Gathering. They are being led by local Gathering organisations which have been set up in every county, comprising sporting bodies, cultural and musical organisations, local authorities, and local development companies and representative bodies.
Commenting on the recent meeting in Roscommon, which was attended by almost 200 people, Jim Miley, Project Director of The Gathering Ireland 2013 said:
“We’re delighted with the outcome from our first community meetings. So many great ideas for Gatherings have already come from our discussion and the strong level of commitment from local people to see these ideas through and organise these Gatherings is something we hope to see elsewhere in Ireland over the coming weeks and months. A very strong precedent has already been set for other counties and communities around the country.”
Those present at the meeting have committed to planning a number of gatherings which will be pledged online at www.thegatheringireland.com.
The lost lambs of Roscommon, Love and Loom in Mayo and a world-record-breaking attempt ‘lovely girls’ competition in Co. Clare are just some of the ideas emerging as the Gathering Ireland 2013 tours the country in this series of Community Meetings.
Following the meeting, Jim Miley continued –
“It’s extremely important that this initiative is not confined to big cities, and that it will be a truly countrywide event which shows off Ireland at its best. Everyone can help by doing something as simple as sending an e-mail or postcard to a relative or friend abroad inviting them to Ireland in 2013.”
A number of meetings are already scheduled for the coming weeks; this list will be added to on a regular basis. Click here to access a full list of scheduled meetings.
The Gathering Ireland 2013 will be launched to the world this September. Given the strong and historic connections between Ireland and America, an ideal launchpad for the Gathering Ireland 2013 is the upcoming Emerald Isle Classic football game between Notre Dame and Navy, to be held in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on 1st September. The Gathering has been confirmed as the title sponsor of the Game which will be attended by almost 30,000 Americans and viewed by a further 3 million from their homes in the US.
Log on to www.thegatheringireland.com to find out when your next community meeting will take place and feel free to spread the word and attend on the night to share your ideas.
If you, or someone you know, already have an idea for a Gathering – big or small – log on to www.thegatheringireland.com to pledge your event and to access tools and supports to help you to organise and promote your Gathering.
Image Caption: Tommy Ryan, Roscommon County Council; John O’Beirne, IFA; Kathleen Martin, Roscommon County Council; Jim Miley, The Gathering Ireland and Richie Farrell, Gathering Co-ordinator pictured at The Gathering's first Community Meeting in Roscommon.