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The Gathering 2013: What to expect

A Riverdance world record attempt, a choral events calendar and international GAA events are in the mix.

AROUND 1,700 “GATHERINGS” are expected to be organised by families and communities throughout Ireland this coming year. The launch of The Gathering 2013 also heard today that 80,000 additional overseas visitors are expected to be attracted to Ireland as a result.

On a more formal note, the launch heard of the large launch concert – as reported in TheJournal.ie - at College Green in Dublin on New Year’s Eve. It is to be broadcast live by RTÉ online and on TV and radio to reach as many of the diaspora as possible.

Further events planned for the year include:

  • A three-day festival of Irish dance in various venues across Dublin, culminating in a world-record attempt to perform the longest (length-wise) Riverdance performance line along the banks of the Liffey.
  • Three international football, ladies’ football and camogie tournaments will take over three days with the finals being held in Croke Park on 27 July. An international hurling tournament will take place over three days in Galway with the finals on 21 September.
  • An oyster-eating competition especially for members of the 12 tribes of Galway who now live in the USA will be hosted at the Galway International Oyster and Seafood Fest.
  • Over 1,000 music students from around the world are to be invited to a special weekend of jazz education as part of the Guinness Cork Jazz festival.
  • The ‘Morpeth Roll’, signed by over a quarter of a million people in Ireland in 1841 at Daniel O’Connell to pay tribute to Lord Morpeth, an outgoing Chief Secretary of Ireland at the time, is to go on public display for the first time ever. It will open on St Patrick’s Day in Dublin and tour the country for 2013.
  • Choral festivals will be central to attracting music fans with an inaugural ‘Limerick Sings’ over the June bank holiday weekend, the Kilkenny Arts Festival hosting a choral gathering in August, the Sligo International Choral Festival happening in November, the Mayo Choral Gathering happening in May, the Cork Choral Gathering in May also, and The Messiah Gathering in Dublin in April.
  • There will be 25 international sports tournament in Dublin throughout the year with 18,000 visitors to attend them across a range of sports from baseball to basketball, cricket and soccer.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar got into  the swing at the launch. Neither Gabriel Byrne nor Michael O’Leary appeared to be present:

The Gathering 2013: What to expect
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  • The Gathering launch

    Minister Leo Varadkar with Peter Kavanagh (left) from the Dublin City Hurricanes baseball team and Eoin O'Sullivan from the Drogheda Lightning football team at the Guinness Storehouse. Photo: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland
  • The Gathering launch

    Varadkar, again with Peter Kavanagh (2nd from right) from the Dublin City Hurricanes baseball team and rugby star Alan Quinlan. Photo: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland
  • The Gathering launch

    And shooting the breeze with RTÉ's Pat Kenny. Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

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