The Gathering Ireland 2013 – Community Gathering of the Year
Local Authority Name: Clare County Council ***WINNER***
Project Name: Celebrate Scattery Island
The event took place over the weekend from 5th & 7th July 2013 and was the idea of the Scattery Island Heritage and Tourism Forum who are voluntary group founded to promote the history and heritage of Scattery Island. The island is now uninhabited with the last of the families of the river pilots who settled there in the nineteenth century leaving in 1978. The Gathering was an opportunity to invite their descendants and relatives to visit the island and explore the 19th century village where their ancestors lived. It was also a celebration of the older heritage of the island which includes a 6th century monastic settlement, a lighthouse and Napoleonic battery and remains of an Elizabethan castle.
Local Authority Name: Cork County Council
Project Name: The Tobins of Sheepshead and The Coughlans of Ballydehop, joint Gathering
The Tobin and Coughlan Gatherings of Sheepshead and Ballydehop resulted in the acquaintance of over 30 overseas members of each clan, along with upwards of 70 domestic visitors, sharing of family-stories and clan history. This event was a clan gathering organized in two parts, each event putting the focus on one side of the organisers family. Both gatherings were classic clan gatherings with open invitations to extended family and members of both said clans to attend. The gathering took place on the June Bank Holiday weekend (2nd & 3nd of June) with the Coughlans of Ballydehop event taking place on the August Bank Holiday weekend (4th & 5th of June).
Local Authority Name: Dún Laoghaire – Rathdown County Council
Project Name: The ‘Forgotten Irish’
Friends of the Forgotten Irish have worked over the last number of years to fundraise for, and highlight the thousands of Irish men and women that left their homeland many decades ago. In early 2012, a Plaque was erected on the East Pier in Dún Laoghaire, to commemorate the Forgotten Irish. As part of the Gathering Celebrations, the Friends of the Forgotten Irish organised trips back to Ireland.
The word spread through the Irish community in the UK, and with the help of Councillor Sally Mulready (Hackney Council, London), a member of the Irish Council of State, who had unveiled the Plaque and on behalf of the Irish Diaspora in the UK, coordinated groups returned home. For many of the visitors this was their first and potentially last trip back to the country of their birth.
Local Authority Name: Kerry County Council
Project Name: Stack Clan Gathering 19-22 July 2013
The Stack Clan Gathering was scheduled from the 19th to 22nd July 2013 and a 4 day programme of welcome, cultural and social events prepared with the proceeds from the various events being donated to Listowel Hospice and the Kerry Parents & Friends Association.
Listowel is the heartland of the Stack family and the Kerry Stacks, led by Damian Stack – a 5th generation shop keeper, reached out to the extended Stack family abroad and invited them “home” for The Gathering. 85 overseas Stacks accepted the invitation and were joined by Stacks from nine other Irish counties and local people from North Kerry to celebrate their Irish heritage.
Local Authority Name: Leitrim County Council
Project Name: The Leitrim Roots Festival
The Leitrim Roots Festival was run by the Leitrim Genealogy Centre and was developed as result of a large number of enquiries from people researching their ancestors. As a result it was decided to run a week long programme in County Leitrim where people with Leitrim ancestry could return to their home county and share experiences with people with similar interests. The festival, which has taken place previously in both 2006 and 2007, had over 80 attendees from such places as New Zealand, Australia, UK, Iceland, USA and Canada. The programme included genealogy workshops, visiting sites of historic interest, towns and villages and a full programme of evening entertainment.
Local Authority Name: Meath County Council
Project Name: The Dunboyne Consort
The Dunboyne Consort was held on 24th to 28th April 2013. The Dunboyne choir teamed with a choir in Nice, France and invited 60+ overseas visitors to attend.
The Choeur des Coteaux d’Ázur is a 50 strong French choir based in two small villages near Nice. The Dunboyne choir sang with them in France in 2012 and invited them to Ireland to celebrate the Gathering and sing with them again.
Local Authority Name: South Tipperary County Council
Project Name: Return of the Dexter
The Return of the Dexter Gathering brought a whole new breed of visitor to Ireland from 8 countries ranging from the northern to southern hemispheres, to share information on the rare and highly regarded Dexter breed of cattle. The delegates were on their first visit to Ireland and came because of their shared interest in Dexter cattle. No overseas delegates had Irish connections. As a result of the 2013 Gathering, an international Dexter conference will run bi-annually and an annual rare breeds Irish show annually.
Local Authority Name: Waterford County Council
Project Name: Power Clan Gathering
The Power Clan Gathering was held in the county and city of Waterford over 31st May to 4th June 2013. Ninety plus overseas visitors visited Waterford originating from Wales, England, Spain, the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador as well as across the US. These visitors wished to participate in the Power Clan Gathering, which had been brought to their attention by the extensive promotional and publicity activities undertaken by the Steering Committee. The festival consisted of 20 individual events over five days that required the extensive involvement of over 100 volunteers. These included those that served on the main committee and on a range of project sub committees from Dunhill, Fenor, Kill, Tramore and Waterford City, many guest artists filling a variety of roles including actors, musicians, dancers, story tellers and singers.