OVER 100 descendants of the local fisherman who historically relied on the river for their trade are expected to visit Limerick this May as part of just one of a huge number of Gathering events taking place this year.
The Abbey Fishermen Homecoming Gathering will take place from May 3-6 this year as part of the initiative with organisers hoping to attract descendants from all over the world back to Limerick.
“We are trying to bring back all the descendants from abroad, we have been in touch with them in England, Canada and the US and we are hoping to bring them back from there. We are hoping to get about 100 back,” explained Brenda Cosgrove (nee Clancy), one of the event organisers.
Limerick received funding to the tune of €110,000 to host some 61 events as part of the Gathering 2013, it was announced this week, with three so-called flagship and 58 community events expected to be a major tourist drive for Limerick over the course of the year.
The 61 Gatherings for Limerick were funded as a result of a €1m philanthropic donation by IPB Insurance that was matched by the Gathering Ireland, in response to the enormous interest expressed nationwide in the programme.
The flagship events for the region are Limerick City Weekend of Welcomes, to take place from October 24-28, Limerick International Fashion and Design Week, October 29-31 and An International Gathering of Horse Racing Clubs and Enthusiasts, November 9-11 - while a whole host of events will take place across the city and county, including: the John Enright Castleconnell Flycasting Festival in October; the Knights of Westfest Music Festival in September and a Lifting Limerick Golf Event in Adare in June, plus many more.
A variety of ideas for local events sprang out of two brainstorming sessions that took place last year in the Woodlands in Adare and the Strand Hotel in the city, and Donal Fitzgibbon, chair of the Limerick Gathering steering committee, said the basic principle of the events were “about building the confidence of people”.
“The Gathering is basically, as far as I am concerned, about something that we had moved away from with the Celtic Tiger, building community again, giving people a purpose, through a reunion, a festival, and bringing them together,” he explained.
“Primarily it is about bringing people in, but you have to have events for people when they do. There is something for everyone to do, and everyone plays a part, we can keep it going,” he added.
The Great Limerick Run also falls under the umbrella term of the Gathering, but received national funding for the May event.
Celia Holman Lee, who will run the Limerick International Fashion and Design Week, said she hoped to attract the cream of the fashion world to Limerick.
“We intend to bring colleges from all over Europe to attend and we hope to encourage designers who maybe graduated from the Limerick colleges who are doing very well abroad to come back,” she explained.
“Especially showing that the city has and always had great style, we have great colleges here, we have amazing shops here, fashion houses that are generations going back and still doing great business - it will showcase Limerick fashion.”
James Ring of the Limerick Civic Trust, who is behind the Limerick City Weekend of Welcomes, said the event would be a “cultural weekend, a very inclusive event, celebrating all aspects of Limerick culture - music, sport, the arts, anything that interests people”.
Mr Ring added that he hopes to potentially stage a series of concerts in the city as part of the weekend.
For more see The Gathering Limerick.
List of funding for local events:
The Abbey Fishermen Homecoming in Limerick City (3-6 May); Angela’s Ashes - The Musical in Limerick’s Lime Tree Theatre (14-21 Jul); The John Enright Castleconnell Flycasting Festival (11-13 Oct); The Knights of Westfest Music Festival/Street Entertainment
in Newcastle West (11-15 Sep); British Horse Racing Clubs Weekend in Patrickswell (May); Limerick School of Art & Design Graduate Fashion Gathering (16-17 May).
Lifting Limerick Golf Event in Adare (6, 7 & 9 Jun)
A European Curators’ Conference at the Belltable Arts Centre (11 May); UL Emerald Cup / University of Limerick Soccer Development Programme (26-28 Jul); Fleadh By the Feale Sporting & Music Festival in Abbeyfeale (2-6 May); Munster Fleadh Cheoil 2013 in Castletroy (14-21 Jul); A Week of Welcomes in Kilmallock (12-21 Jul).
Limerick Country & Western Musical Event at Limerick Racecourse (Nov); Gravity Enduro Mountain Bike Event at Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trail (18-19 May); Blas International Summer School of Irish Traditional Music & Dance at University of Limerick (24 June - 5 Jul)
1st Richard Harris International Film Festival in Dooradoyle, UL and The Georgian House (25-27 Oct); Bruff Summer Festival & Rose Contest (1-7 Jul); Cannonball Gathering/ Gathering of Super Car owners in Limerick City (16-18 August); Genealogy Conference 2013 at UL(Jun); Rocky Mayhem Music Festival in Kilfinane (21-30 Jun); Beast of Ballyhoura Adventure Race (2-5 Aug); Cappamore Agricultural/Sporting Show (12-18 Aug).
Knockainey Community Council Sporting Gathering (Aug); Abbeyfeale Schools Reunion (15-21 Jul); Village Gathering in Hospital (31 May - 2 Jun); Great Limerick Run ‘Kids Run for Fun’ at UL (4 May).
Ballyhoura Autumn Walking/Rambling Festival (19-20 Oct); Ballygoughlan School Reunion (3-4 Aug); Celebration of 150 Years of Croom N.S. (14-16 Jun); Limerick World Food Day (16 Oct); Croom Family Reunion (1-4 Jun); Noonan/Bond Family Reunion in Foynes (2-5 Aug); School Reunion & Sporting Event at Rockhill & Bruree (Sep); John the Baptist Community School Reunion in Hospital (May-Jun); Oola Parish Gathering (20-21 Jul); 4th July Celebration/Cookery Competition & Christian Churches Get together in Limerick City (1-7 Jul); St. Patrick’s Day International Band Parade participation in Limerick City (17 Mar); Glenroe Village Gathering (Aug/Sep); Rape Crisis Midwest Recruit & Mobilise - Gathering of Volunteers (14-15 Mar); Ballyhoura Food Festival (6 May); Midsummer Big Walk in Abbeyfeale & surrounds (22 Jun); Sheahan Clan Gathering in Newcastle West & Ardagh (4 Jul); Glantine Invite/Sporting Event at Templeglantine (Jun 13); Glenbrohane School Reunion (1-21 Aug); St. Marys Boys NS School Reunion in Abbeyfeale (22-24 Mar); Anglesboro Village Reunion (12-14 Jul); McCoy Family Reunion in Newcastle West &Ballybunion (29th Mar - Apr 2013); Clounleharde School Reunion (29 June); Kilbehenny Potato Festival (13-19 Aug); O’ Malley Gathering in Murroe (17 Mar); Lackelly Ambush Trail in Knockcarron (6 May).
Fitzgerald Clan Gathering 3 Part Series in Adare (20, 23, 28 Jun); Knocklong Gala Weekend Festival & Family Events (24-25 Aug); Kilteely Dromkeen Family Festival (19-21 Jul); Irish Golfing Greats Golf Classic in Adare (Jul); Castletown Development Association
School Reunion & Festival (15-18 Aug); Gospel to the Nations Christian Reunion at Limerick Baptist Church in Caherdavin (17 Nov).
The Geraldine Earls of Desmond Book Launch in Adare (27 Aug).