25th October 2012

Fine Gael TD for Kildare North, Anthony Lawlor, warmly welcomes the announcement today (Thursday) by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny that the Gathering Ireland 2013 and IPB Insurance have established a fund to support local events and activities for the Gathering Ireland 2013. The establishment of this fund is in response to the increasing number of events which have already been planned for 2013, indicating the growing momentum behind the initiative which is set to be a vital contributor to Ireland’s economic revival.

“IPB Insurance is a 100% Irish grown company and has come on board as they are convinced by the economic rationale and business opportunity afforded by the Gathering Ireland 2013 initiative. IPB Insurance has allocated €1 million of the fund to support local flagship events and activities in every city and county. The fund will be distributed across city and county councils and will range from €25,000 and €60,000 to support up to three flagship events in each council area subject to approval based on application criteria. In parallel, The Gathering Ireland 2013 has allocated a further €1 million to the fund to target other local and community events in each county. Grant amounts from €500- €2,500 will be made available to these events following approval through a short application process.

“The Gathering Ireland 2013 is set to bring an estimated 325,000 extra tourists to Ireland next year and will generate an additional €170 million in revenue. This initiative is aimed at the people of Ireland inviting anyone with a connection to Ireland to come and visit during 2013. It will encourage people to engage with each other and organise their own gatherings inviting friends, relatives and colleagues to come home and join in. Communities, villages and towns throughout Ireland will be organising a packed calendar of gatherings, festivals and events to welcome visitors from all over the world. This fund will be welcomed by all those communities wishing to become involved.

“I am encouraging people throughout Kildare North to get involved and organise a Gathering of their own. This fund will go a long way towards assisting small groups and organisations who wish to take part and I am hoping to see the number of events increasing over the coming months. This is our opportunity to showcase not only Ireland but your own locality to the Irish diaspora. Further information can be found on www.thegatheringireland.com”.