With some of the world’s leading travel commentators buzzing about visiting Ireland this year for The Gathering, the greatest Irish get together of all time continues to build momentum and excitement. Ireland is inviting Canadians to come and “be part of it”with more than 2,500 Gathering festivals and events happening throughout the year. The Gathering offers anyone with links to Ireland (including the 70 million people worldwide who now claim Irish ancestry – almost five million of which are Canadian), or indeed anyone who shares a love of Irish heritage and culture, to “come home and immerse themselves in Ireland’s culture, art, sport, adventure, music and clan Gatherings taking place in towns, villages and cities nationwide throughout 2013.”Igniting imagination like no other Irish tourism initiative, The Gathering Ireland spectacularly launched in Dublin on Dec. 31 with an action-packed New Year’s Eve celebration. Among the upcoming Gathering highlights: the St Patrick’s Festival, the “People’s Parade”inviting 8,000 international visitors to walk in the capital’s big event; the Canada Come Home Gathering, a special event which charts the experience of over 6,000 people who left Coolattin Co. Wicklow for a new life in Canada during the Great Famine; and the Irish Redhead Convention which will see the largest gathering of carrot tops converge for a festival of ginger fun. Travellers can take in the great outdoors during the Glen of Aherlow and Dingle Walking Festivals and the competitive Irish spirit will be fired up by the Celtic Cup 2013 International Lacrosse tournament; the Welly Throwing Championships and the World Mini Games amongst others. For music fans, Sets by The Sea and The Sea Sessions offer a diverse musical line-up to be enjoyed against the backdrop of Ireland’s stunning coastline; Vantastival is the only campervan-focused music festival in Ireland; and the Beatles Festival on the Lough is a must for lovers of Liverpool’s fab four (whose roots, of course, are Irish). Family Gatherings include the Acton Clan Gathering, where Canadian Lyle Acton, whose great great grandfather left Ireland in 1840 to settle in Ontario, invites his distant relatives to meet in Co. Mayo; plus Gatherings of the Powers, Gallaghers, MacKenna, O’Reilly, O’Sullivan and Stack clans. For information about these and a full list of Gatherings, visit http://www.thegatheringireland.com .
Irish Gathering gathers momentum
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