Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar has invited the thousands of Irish people living and working in Brussels, as well as those with Irish connections throughout Europe to get involved in The Gathering Ireland 2013, the year-long festival of festivals taking place in Ireland next year.
Addressing members of the Irish diaspora at the Brussels launch of The Gathering, Minister Varadkar called on expatriates to get involved and organise their own ‘Gathering’ events within Ireland next year.
Those attending the launch also included sporting representatives, business people, European Union officials, and Irish MEPs. “I am asking you all to get involved in The Gathering Ireland 2013 and do something unique and positive for our country. As well as visiting Ireland, I would ask you to plan your own Gatherings of family, friends or colleagues,” Minister Varadkar said.
“Next year we will celebrate everything that is best about Ireland, right across the country, and we want the world to join in. This is a chance for us to reconnect with the millions of people around the world with Irish family links, as well as everyone who has studied or worked in Ireland.
“Whether through family networks or clan gatherings, colleges, businesses, sporting or cultural organisations, anyone or any group with an interest in Ireland can join in. All we are asking is that you come to Ireland next year and organise your own Gathering, no matter how big or small.”
Some of the highlights already organised for next year include expanded festivals at Christmas and New Year, an international GAA event at Croke Park in August, and a new production from the team behind Riverdance.
“We need your help to make it work,” Minister Varadkar told the launch. “Now is the time to get thinking and start planning how you will join in.”
More information, including toolkits to organise your own Gathering, is available from: thegatheringireland.com
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport Press Office: (01) 604 1090/(01) 604 1087
Nick Miller (086) 6992080