Monday, December 31, 2012
The Gathering in Ireland 2013
The famine ship pictured at the foot of Croagh Patrick in County Mayo with Clew Bay in the background. What better picture to illustrate the departure of so many of our ancestors than this and to give a true meaning to what The Gathering is all about.
What is the Gathering?
Throughout 2013, Ireland will open its arms to friends and family from all over the world, inviting them home to locally organised gatherings in villages, towns and cities.
The Gathering is a concerted attempt to attract people of Irish descent back to Ireland this coming year to celebrate a unique get together countrywide. There will be many different types of gatherings such as family name gatherings, gatherings of people connected through towns or areas, and even a gathering of red headed people. Have a look at the web site....just Google "The Gathering" and check it out yourself. The idea has sparked a lot of attention, and even some controversy, especially over Gabriel Byrnes criticism claiming that we just wanted people here for their money. Eventhough i have met Gabriel myself, and do like him, i found that assertion to be extremely silly. Tourism is one of our real bread winning sources. To suggest that we should not come up with ideas that would help to boost our income from tourism by promoting novel ideas that would attract people to come here and to help us by spending their holiday money among their fellow Irish just makes no sense. Is that not what promoting tourism is about? I have no hesitation also in encouraging Irish people in the USA to purchase as much of our Irish produced goods as they can. Our dairy products are a typical example of just how wonderful Irish produce is with our butter and cheese becoming more and more popular worldwide by the day. Where can you find beef and lamb, or seafood, to equal ours? When people from the USA do come here on holidays they really do love being here and they cherish the memories of their visit. I am in the tourism business now for some years and i have never yet had a customer who told me that they were sorry that they did come here, and i am not in the least bit ashamed to say that i charged all of them. I do my best to give them their moneys worth though. I honestly believe that those people who come this year will have no regrets and will find that the Irish people genuinely do love to have them here, and it is not for their money alone. It does help our economy but that again is something that i am sure that many of our visitors will be glad to know. I have always had a fee for my services. Does that mean that all i want is your money? Maybe you could ask some of the wonderful people i have had the privilege to tour with.They never asked me to give it back.
Yes.....The Gathering is a great idea and we do look forward to looking after any of you who come our way in the coming year. We will charge you, but we will do our best to give you a really good deal. Many of you are already aware of that.
Why not contact me if you need help.
Happy New Year