Wicklow Gathering 2013 Projects to receive €55,000 in Grant Awards

 Wicklow Gathering 2013 Projects to receive €55,000 in Grant Awards

Thirty projects have been selected for funding through Wicklow County Council’s Gathering 2013 initiative. The groups were present at County Buildings on Monday 11 February, to receive cheques for 50% of the amount awarded – the remaining 50% will be given in the second half of the year, or following the event.

The idea for the venture came from Scotland’s “Homecoming 2009” year of festivities. It was deemed a great success for Scottish tourism, so much so that Homecoming 2014 is now being planned.

Nationally, The Gathering Ireland is supporting individuals, communities, businesses and organisations, with the aim of attracting up to 325,000 extra visitors to Ireland in 2013, by reaching out to friends and connections abroad, inviting them to Ireland for a fun-filled year of celebration. Nationally, there are almost 3,250 Gatherings now registered, including 99 Gatherings on the Wicklow page (Only 10 counties have more – Dublin and predominantly west of Ireland counties)

When The Gathering 2013 was first launched, financial support for individual projects was not made available. IPB insurances then took the initiative in October 2012 and put €1 million forward towards a maximum of 3 flagship projects per local authority area. This was then matched by the Gathering Ireland, ensuring a total fund of €2 million. Wicklow Gathering projects will receive €55,000 of this. At the grant ceremony, Wicklow County Manager, Eddie Sheehy, thanked IPB and the Gathering Ireland for making the grants available, stating that the grant aid would not only be of financial assistance, but would also give groups a reassurance that their project is of value to their local community and to the local and national economy.

Cllr Pat Casey, Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council and Wicklow’s Gathering Steering Group said that while in some cases, Gatherings relate to festivals which have already been up and running for a number of years, in 2013 their emphasis will be on encouraging visitors from abroad. Other Gatherings are novel ideas, put forward for with this year’s events in mind.

The three  IPB Flagship Gatherings will be awarded €25,000 in total through the IPB fund.
  1. “Canada Come Home” is based on the Coolattin Estate in south Wicklow. After the Great Famine of the 1840s, the surviving tenants were resettled in Canada. Many of their descendents have been traced and are being encouraged to visit Ireland for the event in September. The project takes place in tandem with Tinahely Court House Committee, which is currently digitising the names of those emigrants, from estate records and it is hoped that it will be possible to launch this database as part of the “Canada Come Home” festival from 13 -15 September.

  1. Hollywood Fair is now entering its 3rd year  This festival has a great emphasis on local involvement, with pra\ctically every person in Hollywood contacting friends and relations abroad – DEMANDING that they come to the Hollywood Fair in August. The festival is a throwback to the 1950s and 1960s in the village with an emphasis on the customs of yore. Hollywood Fair will take place over the weekend of 17th – 19th of August

  1. Greystones Arts Festival had been an annual event until 2006 and is being resurrected, due to popular demand, to coincide with the Gathering 2013. There is a very active committee which has encouraged the people of Greystones to invite friends and relations home. Opportunities are being availed of to promote the event on radio stations in England, including Birmingham. The fact that Greystones is twinned with Holyhead means the festival will also be promoted there.  The festival promises to be big and will take place over the June bank holiday weekend – Friday May 31 – Monday June 3rd.

The following 27 projects will receive a total of €30,000 in grants varying from €2,500 to €500.

Name of Gathering Event/
Event Description, Location, etc
Event Date
Bray Gathering - Air Display / Bray Summerfest Committee
Air display, spectacular, as part of annual "Bray Summer Fest" - Bray sea front
20/7 -21/7/13
Russborough Hints of History Festival / Alfred Beit Foundation
Historic celebration of Russborough House with particular weekend of events - Russborough House, Blessington
6/7 -7/7/13
Kiltegan Gathering 2013 / Kiltegan Gathering Committee
Full calendar of Gathering festivals throughout 2013 in Kiltegan, organised by Kiltegan Gathering Committee 2013 - specific emphasis on inviting conections from abroad
1/2 -Nov 2013
Vale of Avoca Welcome Home Week (committee)
Celebration of Avoca's international fame including Thomas Moore + Avoca's mining history
23/5 - 30/5/13
Balto Balloon Fest / Baltinglass Festival Group
Baltinglass festival, including hot air balloon event
21/6 - 23/6/13
Glens of Lead Conference: The Forgotten State of Industry - Irish Industrial landscapes and Heritage in a Global Context/ Glendalough Mining Heritage Project
Conference re the history of Glendalough's mining tradition and heritage - Glendalough
17/10 - 19/10/13
La Touche Gathering / La Touche Legacy Committee
La Touche Festival will celebrate 25 years in 2013. The Gathering represents an opportunity to invite La Touche family members from abroad to attend the 2013 festival -Greystones
24/9 - 29/9/13
Arklow Seabreeze Festival / committee
Two week annual festival, with emphasis on The Gathering in 2013
7/7 - 21/7/13
Roundwood Street Festival / Roundwood and District Community Council
Street festival July + Fleadh, April & Christmas Carol Festival , December
20/7 - 21/7/13 + 27/4 + 1/12-2/12
Wicklow Regatta Festival / Committee
Annual festival, with emphasis on the Gathering in 2013 - Wicklow town
28/7 - 5/8/13
Operation Shamrock / Glencree Visiotor Centre
Inviting back German families and their descendents, who came to Ireland in 1945 as part of Operation Shamrock - Glencree Visitor Centre, Enniskerry
7/9 - 8/9/13
Tinahely Show – (International Sheaf Throwing competition)
Annual festival, with emphasis on the Gathering in 2013
Garden of Ireland Run Through Wicklow Mountains / Garden of Ireland Vintage Car Club
Vintage car drive through Wicklow mountains (with emphasis on drivers from UK & France) - event will use Delgany as base
21/9 - 22/9/13
Bray Bridge Gathering / Bray Bridge Club
Bridge tournament with emphasis on inviting friends and contacts from UK and abroad.  Event will be held in Greystones and Bray
31/8 - 1/9/13
 Gravity Enduro Series  / Biking.ie
International mountain bike event held during April, August and September in county Wicklow  (Buking.ie is based in Roundwood)
20&21/4, 10&11/8, 7&8/9/13
WAR - Wicklow Adventure Race Series / Irish Triathlon Agency Ltd.
Established Triathlon event, held in April, July & September at Glendalough, Glenmalure and Powerscourt, respectively
20/4, 27/7 & 14/9/13
Arklow Maritime Festival - "The Gathering of the Fleet" / Arklow RNLI
International sail training vessels and vintage vessels
2/8 -5/8/13
Dunlavin Arts Festival / Committee
Annual festival, with emphasis on the Gathering in 2013
14/6 - 16/6/13
Dominican College Reunion / Richard McDonald
School Reunion, Wicklow town
Clan O'Byrne Gathering
Family Gathering (long established organisation) - Gathering will be based in Avoca, attempting to encourage as many Byrne’s as possible, to come to Wicklow
Arklow House of Stories
Arklow based festival of international music and story telling
21/6 - 28/6/13
Annacurra National School Past Pupils' Reunion
School reumnion, Annacurra, Aughrim
23/6 - 30/6/13
Polo Wicklow /committee
USA v Ireland Polo match, Wicklow town + other international polo event
6/4 & 17/8/13
Wicklow Peace & Remembrance / Committee
War veterans and descendents to commemorate Wicklow's war dead, Wicklow town
Greystones Gathering / Burnaby Residents Association
Reunion of current and former residents of The Burnaby, Greystones
24/8 &/25/8/13
Finte O'Broin Gathering / Derek Byrne
Re-enactment of capture of Fiach McHugh O'Byrne (20/7/1598), + unveiling of plaque at Ballinacor
Roundwood and District Historical & Folklore Society Gathering /Committee
Historical talks, with an international audience
20/7 - 21/7/13

For more details on these and other Gathering initiative in county Wicklow in 2013, go to www.thegatheringireland.org and choose “View Gatherings” and then “View by County”. The website will then list all events in chronological order.


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