A FUND of €60,000 is to be distributed among 93 groups and organisations around the county that will be hosting events in 2013 to mark the Government’s ‘The Gathering’ tourism initiative.

Around 250 ‘Gathering’ events are expected to take place in the county, which means that 30 per cent of those will be in receipt of funding which is being administered by Clare County Council.

“The key objective of the funding is to provide financial support to local and community Gathering event organisers and activities which will attract overseas visitors to Clare during 2013,” said Clare Gathering chairperson Ger Dollard in announcing the criteria for deciding which projects will be grant-aided.

The largest grant of €15,000 has been given to the Ennis Roots Weeks, with the remaining contributions on a receding scale to €200. In revealing the grant recipients, Mr Dollard praised organisations throughout the county for “developing one of the country’s most diverse and exciting calendar of events for The Gathering.”

“The Gathering Ireland 2013 is Ireland’s biggest ever tourism initiative, providing an opportunity for those with ancestral links or an affinity to Ireland to play a part in and benefit from our economic recovery. The people of Clare are certainly playing their part and I wish to congratulate those who have given selflessly of their time and energy to organising events in the respective communities. Clare County Council has recognised this contribution by providing an additional €5,200 to the €55,000 already allocated through the IPB Gathering Fund for Clare gatherings and events,” he added.

The Gathering Clare 2013 will be officially launched at the Gathering Clare Festivals and Events Expo in Glór this Sunday from 2pm to 6pm. The free event which will feature exhibits of 100 of the Gathering festivals and events taking place throughout the county during 2013.

Former Munster, Ireland and Lions rugby star Keith Wood from Killaloe, world-famous Irish traditional musician Martin Hayes from Feakle, Fair City actor Aoibhinn Garrihy and Kevin Crawford of Lunasa will be amongst the Gathering Clare Ambassadors in attendance.

Speaking ahead of the Expo, which is being hosted by the Clare Tourism Forum, chairperson Donnagh Gregson stated, “We are inviting people from all over Clare to attend the Expo to find out more about some of the estimated 250 Gathering events taking place in Clare while at the same time participate in what will be a fun-filled day.”

“The Gathering Ireland 2013 is Ireland’s biggest ever tourism initiative, providing an opportunity for those with ancestral links or an affinity to Ireland to play a part in and benefit from our economic recovery.

“The people of Clare are certainly playing their part and I wish to congratulate the scores of community groups, clubs, organisations and individuals across Clare for contributing to one of the country’s most comprehensive, diverse and exciting calendar of events for The Gathering,” added Ms Gregson.

For a full list of funding see The Clare People or visit our Digital Edition.

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Joe Ó Muircheartaigh graduated from University College Dublin in 1989 with a degree in history and politics. After completing a Diploma in Journalism at The College of Commerce, Rathmines in 1991, he embarked on a career in journalism. Joe spent four years with Clare FM from 1992 and was with The Clare Champion from 1996 to 2005. He has won two McNamee Awards for GAA journalism and has published two books. Contact Joe on [email protected]

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