Leitrim is hosting over 70 Gathering events this year to attract overseas visitors and to welcome home emigrants to towns, villages and parishes within the county in 2013.
Friends, families as well as anyone interested in culture, heritage, music, and sport are being invited back to County Leitrim from the UK, Europe and the United States to spend some quality time in Lovely Leitrim.
The Gathering Ireland 2013 initiative in Leitrim is being led by Leitrim County Council and the County Leitrim Gathering Steering Group. Launching the Leitrim Gathering website and facebook Chairman Charlie McGettigan said “A truly warm welcome awaits every visitor to our county this year with a particular emphasis being put into the traditional Cead Mile Failte. As can be seen from the huge list of events being staged throughout the year, there will be something exciting for everyone to enjoy and I know that all our voluntary committees will be leaving no stone unturned in making each and every event truly memorable”.
Leitrim County Council said they were delighted with the response and the events include family and school reunions, GAA events, music festivals, literary festival and much more.
IPB and Gathering Ireland 2013 funding programme has provided €55,000 to various Gathering events throughout County Leitrim.
Speaking at the launch of the Leitrim Calendar of events 2013 Martina Bromley, Head of Operations, Fáilte Ireland North West said, “The Gathering is a great opportunity for Leitrim to profile the range of wonderful events happening in the county in 2013. The Gathering is a great showcase for these key events in the overseas markets. Leitrim, has always had a strong link in with its diaspora and the Gathering has supported this close and valuable relationship. I would encourage everyone in County Leitrim to link in with family and friends overseas and invite them back for one of these excellent events in what promises to be a year of celebration in Co. Leitrim.” She commented that the gathering is “engine juice” to events already held in here, and should bring 3,000-4,000 extra visitors to the county. Outgoing County Manager Jackie Maguire said there is “huge potential” in Leitrim. Chairman of the Leitrim Tourism Forum Senator Paschal Mooney also welcomed the gathering events locally, he noted the original An Tostal held in Ireland in 1953 to attract tourists back ‘home’ still runs in Drumshanbo.
Cathoirleach Enda Stenson, said “Leitrim is a beautiful place with beautiful people!”
“Everyone in Leitrim is looking forward to welcoming all our visitors. As part of the welcome The Gathering 2013 has afforded an opportunity for each and every one of us to play our part in showing what is best about our County and our people. Through Leitrim County Council €30,000 was received from Failte Ireland and was awarded to 29 Gathering events taking place in Co. Leitrim throughout 2013. We have some great networks and ides in Leitrim as to how we can reach out to our friends and loved ones overseas and invite them home this year.”
Among the events planned for this year of The Gathering in Leitrim are:
- The Carrick-on-Shannon 400 celebrations marking 400 years since the town first received its charter.
- Percy’s Party celebrating the art, music and song of Percy French in Mohill.
- The Leitrim Roots Festival which will fulfil the dreams of many Leitrim exiles when they return home to visit their Lovely Leitrim,.
- The Hup! Festival, a week long festival of all that is good about traditional Irish music, song dance and drama.
- Margaret of New Orleans Bicentennial celebrations where the people of Carrigallen celebrate 200 years since the birth of their famous daughter.
- The McGowan clan Gathering bringing McGowan family members from all over the world back to Kinlough for the August Bank Holiday weekend.
Details of all events taking place in Leitrim are available on www.enjoyleitrim.ie and the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/thegatheringleitrim