Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore have asked every community in Ireland to get involved in The Gathering Ireland 2013, the biggest tourism event ever held in Ireland.
Speaking at the launch today in Dublin Castle, the Taoiseach and Tánaiste also urged businesses, clubs and organisations right across the country to get involved in The Gathering.
The Taoiseach said: “This initiative needs the widespread participation of communities and local organisations all across Ireland. The Gathering gives each and every one of us an opportunity to do something positive for our country in our own unique way. It’s all about you, your family, your neighbours, your sports club, your college. Whatever community or group you belong to, we would like you to start planning special events to highlight what is great about that community, and about Ireland.”
The Tánaiste explained that the global Irish diaspora will also be crucial: “The Gathering aims to engage with our global diaspora, to entice them to come home in 2013 and to encourage them to extend an invitation to Ireland to others. It’s not just about encouraging anyone with Irish heritage – it is also addressed to those who love or have an interest in Ireland. The Gathering Ireland 2013 is being spearheaded by Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar, who outlined a series of new festivals and events being held especially in order to encourage more visitors to Ireland next year. These include a new music festival, international GAA events and a new project from the organisers of Riverdance.”
Minister Varadkar said: “We are inviting the world to Ireland next year for this festival of festivals. It promises to be the biggest tourism initiative ever staged in Ireland. I want The Gathering to be an event that belongs to everyone in Ireland, and which everyone in Ireland feels part of. If you want help organising your own Gathering, then log on to the new Gathering website at thegatheringireland.com to take advantage of all the available supporting material.”
The Gathering was launched internationally by Government Ministers in 27 cities over St Patrick’s Weekend, and the project team and corporate partners are now firmly in place. A number of well-known Irish personalities have pledged their support, including Pierce Brosnan, Liam Neeson, Maeve Binchy and Paul O’Connell.
A large number of companies and organisations have already got involved including Google and Facebook, while KPMG and PwC have confirmed they will hold their international alumni events in Ireland, bringing 1,000 international visitors.