The Gathering Ireland 2013 is an opportunity to experience Ireland at its very best as the people of Ireland host an unprecedented year-long celebration of everything that is unique and great about Ireland. Communities, villages and towns throughout Ireland will be organising a packed calendar of gatherings, festivals and events to welcome people with Irish connections from all over the world. With the focus on Ireland’s vibrant, living culture, heritage and people it is a chance to experience Ireland like never before.
Roscommon has embraced the concept of The Gathering with GUSTO ! Everyone in Roscommon is being asked to reach out to their family, friends, relatives and colleagues around the world and invite them home to be a part of these specially organised events in their honour. We were the first county in Ireland to host a Community Meeting in advance of The Gathering Ireland 2013, when over 200 people came together to put forward ideas and learn how to get involved.
Roscommon native, Jim Miley, who was recently appointed Project Director of The Gathering Ireland 2013, urges his fellow county-men and women to take part, saying: “The Gathering Ireland 2013 is a people’s project. It’s all about you, your family, your neighbours, your sports club, your college, your place of work – in fact, whatever community or group you belong to – planning special events in 2013 that will highlight what is great about your town and county. I know the people of Roscommon have some wonderful suggestions for Gatherings and a real ‘can-do’ attitude so we’re looking forward to hearing all of your ideas.”
The local steering committee is asking everyone in Roscommon to get involved in the Gathering in 2013. This is an opportunity for Roscommon to gain from the overseas visitors that will come to the county, the new jobs that will be created and increased tourism revenue while also providing a chance for communities, clubs, associations and networks to work together for a common cause. The Gathering Ireland 2013 is about bringing people and communities together and it is our chance to tell the world what’s great about Roscommon and showcase what we are proud of.
The Mayor of Roscommon emphasised the importance of community involvement in plans for The Gathering 2013 saying:
“This is an exciting opportunity for each and every one of us to play our part in showing what is best about our County and our people. We have a wonderful network of organisations, committees and community groups in Roscommon who I know will make a great contribution to The Gathering. We look forward to giving a Céad Míle Fáilte in 2013 to all our visitors from around the world.”
Planning community projects is already underway throughout Roscommon and include clan gatherings, genealogical projects and cultural celebrations. Indeed, The Gathering’s own Overseas Manager, Monica MacLaverty (nee Nerney), from Roscommon Town, has been inspired to organise a Gathering of her own. Ms MacLaverty is currently planning a large Gathering for October 2013. It is expected that friends and family of the MacLavertys from Northern Ireland and Nerneys from Roscommon will travel to Roscommon from as far afield as France, Switzerland, Britain, Australia and America. It is hoped that as many as 100 family and friends of MacLavertys and Nerneys will come together at this special Gathering to reunite and reconnect with family, friends and loved ones in Roscommon.
Roscommon's 2012 International Reunion is a great example of welcoming Roscommon's Diaspora back to the county. To be held August 2012, this will be a unique opportunity for people from Roscommon or with Roscommon connections living all over the world to reunite in Roscommon.
Pictured: 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.