Engaging Ireland News

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‘Homecoming Festival’ 2012

Fáilte Ireland wants all you who are Irish (not living in Ireland) or of Irish descent to attend a special festival in 2012. The following story by Ronan McGreevy appeared in  the Irish Times (Saturday, November 27, 2010).

Festival to tap ancestral tourism

IRELAND: FÁILTE IRELAND is planning a homecoming festival for Irish people and those of Irish ancestry for 2012.

“The Gathering” has the potential to be “Ireland’s biggest tourism programme ever”, Fáilte Ireland chairman Redmond O’Donoghue revealed this week.

Details of the festival will be announced next year, but it is likely to be similar to the “Homecoming Scotland” festival held in 2009 which attracted an extra 100,000 visitors to that country.

The Irish version is likely to capitalise on the interest in ancestral tourism brought about by the publication online of the 1901 and 1911 censuses.

Mr McDonagh said “The Gathering” will be one of several major tourism events over the next two years.

The others will includes the tall ships visit to Waterford; the Solheim Cup, the women’s equivalent of the Ryder Cup; and the return of the Volvo Ocean Race to Galway in 2012.

He also revealed that the Convention Centre Dublin will host a major IT conference next year which will have 4,000 delegates and will generate 20,000 bed nights in Dublin.


Will you make plans to attend “The Gathering”? One of the other events mentioned in the article?

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Posted in Uncategorized 7 years, 2 months ago at 1:01 pm.


5 Replies

  1. Mary Ross Apr 10th 2011

    Planning to come to Ireland in 2012 so would definitely be interested in the Homecoming Festival. My husband has become an Irish Citizen. We are looking for a home exchange with anyone anywhere in Ireland so we can live there for most of the year and experience the community first hand. Our home in Brisbane, Queensland Australia would be available to swap. We’re Interested in any ideas/offers!!

  2. Teresa Oct 8th 2011

    Can you tell me exactly when in 2012

  3. Thanks for your question, Teresa! We did an Internet search to try to find out more information on this Homecoming Festival; however, the only thing we were able to find was a Facebook group page titled “Féile Glas.” If you are a member of Facebook, you can take a look at this page at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=332872292057&v=wall. (We note that there is a comment at the top of the page, posted by Facebook, that the group is scheduled to be archived. Apparently, they have not migrated to the new format for Facebook groups…)

    The original article we found and posted from the Irish Times indicated that the Homecoming Festival was to be promoted by Failte Ireland; however, we can find no evidence that there is to be any such promotion by the Irish tourism sector next year. We will continue to search for information about what happened to this event. If we hear anything, we will let you know. Thank you for asking about it and bringing this lack of information to our attention! Wish we had a more informative response to your question…

  4. Update on The Gathering – From Irish Travel Trade News (http://www.ittn.ie/bulletins/%E2%80%98the-gathering%E2%80%99-a-year-long-event-in-2013/):

    “At the recent Global Irish Economic Forum , Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar TD presented proposals for the biggest tourism initiative ever staged in Ireland. ‘The Gathering’ will be a year-long event in 2013 where people at home and abroad can play a part in the country’s recovery, potentially bringing 325,000 extra visitors and providing a major economic stimulus.”

    So, it looks like The Gathering for Ireland has been pushed out to 2013!

  5. We at the County Sligo Genealogy and Heritage Centre are developing an event as part of the 2013 Gathering initiative. We plan an emigration-themed week of lectures, tours and activities. More than 42,000 Irish left the northwest port of Sligo during the Famine years, so we are inviting the Diaspora in Canada and the U.S.A. who hail from Sligo to visit the land of their ancestors and enjoy learning about their heritage.

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