Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar has invited the millions of people of Irish descent living and working in and around London, as well as those with Irish connections, to come and visit Ireland next year for the Gathering or even to organise a Gathering of their own in Ireland.
Addressing members of the Diaspora in London yesterday evening, at an event in the Irish Embassy organised by Tourism Ireland, Minister Varadkar urged the Irish in London to become ambassadors for the Gathering and to encourage their own extensive networks of family, friends and business colleagues to organise their own Gatherings here in Ireland during 2013. Minister Varadkar also met with and briefed representatives of the London media and gave a series of broadcast and print media interviews.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Great Britain is our largest and most important tourism market, delivering over 50% of all overseas visitors to the island of Ireland. With an estimated six million people throughout GB claiming Irish descent or affiliations with Ireland, Tourism Ireland is actively reaching out to the Irish Diaspora, inviting them to come home and visit Ireland in 2013.”
As well as members of the Diaspora, those attending the London launch of ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ included sporting and culture representatives, members of Irish business networks and Irish community leaders.
Minister Varadkar is in London attending a number of events associated with the Olympic Games.