THE call has come. And community representatives across Limerick are being asked to answer that call in the company of some of Ireland’s best-loved celebrities and to help make The Gathering Ireland 2013 a huge social and economic success.
Already, rugby star Paul O’Connell and actors Pierce Brosnan and Liam have lent their support to what is being billed as the biggest tourism initiative ever staged in Ireland and which is expected to bring over 300,000 extra visitors to the country next year.
And on Tuesday, September 4, community representatives in Limerick will gather in the Woodlands House Hotel in Adare to get the ball rolling in this county.
At the heart of The Gathering project is the idea that local communities will reach out to all those who have left their parish over the generations and invite them back to their native place where various activities will be organised.
But sporting, cultural, business and professional organisations are also being asked to consider organising special events which would attract people to the area.
Jim Miley, who was recently appointed project director of The Gathering Ireland 2013, has urged Limerick people to get involved.
“The Gathering Ireland 2013 is a people’s project. It’s all about you, your family, your neighbours, your sports club, your college, your place of work – in fact, whatever community or group you belong to – planning special events in 2013 that will highlight what is great about your town and county,” he said.
“Limerick is a beautiful county and I know local communities have a great spirit and some wonderful suggestions for Gatherings. We are looking forward to hearing all of your ideas,” Mr. Miley added.
Donal Fitzgibbon, the chairman of the Limerick Gathering Steering Committee is equally enthusiastic.
“By calling this meeting, we’re asking everyone in Limerick to get involved in the Gathering in 2013. This is an exciting opportunity for each and every one of us to play our part in showing what is best about Limerick and its people.”
Mr Fitzgibbon added: “We have some great networks here in Limerick and some great ideas as to how we can reach out to our friends and loved ones overseas and invite them home next year. 2013 is going to be an incredible year in Ireland and we want Limerick to be part of it.”
The meeting will offer an opportunity for local people to learn more about The Gathering and how they can be involved. Anyone with ideas for a ‘Gathering’ event can pledge them online after the meeting.
They will also be able to access tools and supports online to help them to organise their Gatherings.
For further information visit www.thegatheringireland.com or follow The Gathering Limerick on Twitter @thegatheringlk or Facebook on www.facebook.com/The GatheringLimerick
But, urges Mr Fitzgibbon, don’t forget to show up, or to get a representative from your organisation to represent you at the Woodlands on September 4 at 7pm.