Why I won’t (technically) be supporting The Gathering


I was browsing the internet a while back and came across this project called the Ireland Reaching Our Project. It’s about looking up your local parish from where you’re from, and being able to trace your roots by using local sources. I actually signed up and became an administrator of sorts (not that I’ve done any work on it yet but I’ll get there) because I liked the idea. I’ve never been too into Genealogy on my own family myself, but I appreciate the idea that people from around the world can find out more about their family.

Then I found out this website was linked to The Gathering….

The Gathering is an initiative by the Irish Government to bring people of Irish descent (over 70million of them) back home during 2013. The idea is for local people or groups to organise events and invite their friends and family home. I immediately didn’t like the idea and still don’t. Many people, such as myself and  Gabriel Byrne, don’t like it, because it’s not so much about bringing people back to their communities or roots, it’s about them spending money. I have no problem with people coming over here to spend money and all the best to Discover Ireland and other such organisations who entice people to come over. The Gathering, in my opinion, is about using Genealogy  family History, heritage and even identity in an attempt to get people to come to Ireland to spend money. This I cannot support. What is your opinion?


2 comments on “Why I won’t (technically) be supporting The Gathering

  1. daithi82 says:

    I think there are two sides to The Gathering. There is the big slightly semi-corporate aspect being pushed by Failte Ireland, the government and other tourism bodies. This is the part that comes across as cynical sometimes and I think is what Gabriel Byrne was reacting to. But then there is the Ireland Reaching out, which I hope is here to stay. I’ve been to a few different meetings on the Gathering and the ideas I have heard have been really diverse. I see it more as an opportunity for community groups, churches, sporting clubs and even small historical societies to show off the positive things about this country. I don’t know if it will solve our economic problems but just maybe it can help us think more about what we can offer the world. I’m going to have to write up my own thoughts on this soon.

  2. Hi Dave. Thank you for your thoughts. I suppose i haven’t been to meeting on The Gathering, I’ve simply talked to people about it. There does seem to be a divided opinion about it alright. Perhaps the thing I find hard is that the local community groups, in my opinion, are being used for another purpose. I agree and appreciate the idea of Ireland reaching out as well. I look forward to your post on it 🙂

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