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IPP Gathering Ireland Funds Announced for Offaly

Published: 17th January 2013

It was announced today that a total of 40 Gathering events will receive funding in Offaly under the nationwide €2m IPB Gathering Ireland Fund. Details of the Gatherings were announced by Michael Ring, TD, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport at a launch in Castletown House, Co Kildare.

The Gatherings, divided into key county flagship events and community gatherings, are funded as a result of a €1M philanthropic donation by IPB Insurance that was matched by the Gathering Ireland in response to the enormous interest expressed nationwide in the tourism initiative. The overall total of 40 funded events in Offaly is made up of 3 flagship events and 37 local community events.

The flagship events are Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival 2013; the Rhode Parish Gathering Festival 2013 (including the Croghan Hill Challenge); and the Tullamore Town events for the Gathering – comprising both St. Patrick’s Festival Weekend and Tullamore Parish Gathering on 17/18thth August.

Pat Gallagher, County Manager responds that “Offaly is delighted to have had such a range of interest in ‘The Gathering’ from our communities, and congratulate all those who have been successful in their funding applications. Thanks also to the agencies and groups involved to date in the Steering Group for Offaly for The Gathering 2013 – chaired by Cllr Peter Ormond - and the work they have done so far with and for those groups in Offaly .”

Cllr Ormond extends a greeting to all potential visitors for The Gathering, advising “ We hope to welcome a broad range of guests to the county during 2013, based both on ‘Gathering’ events and the other tourism related activities that we can offer”.

Minister Ring said, “I’m delighted that we can present such a huge range of flagship events which shows what a great year we have ahead of us. There really is something for everyone, whether you live in Ireland or are coming from overseas. The IPB Gathering Ireland Fund will have a real impact on 2013 and I commend IPB Insurance for its commitment to this project.”

The €2m fund was administered by the city and county councils based on agreed application criteria. A key factor in the evaluation process was capacity to attract overseas visitors.

Ronan Foley, CEO of IPB Insurance, said, “The large number of applications received by City and County Councils is testament to the public support and endorsement for The Gathering. IPB Insurance is a proud partner of this fantastic initiative that reaches out and supports community and flagship events right across the country. These events will, I believe, reap long term economic and social benefits for Ireland. In particular, I would encourage Corporate Ireland to adopt a leadership role in getting behind our country, our economy and our communities through this fantastic initiative.”

Gathering Ireland Project Director, Jim Miley, commented on the response they received. “As of today there are a total of 2600 Gatherings registered on the website. This really does demonstrate how much people have embraced the Gathering. The IPB support has enabled us to provide funding for smaller and medium scale Gathering events that might not otherwise have happened or that will help event organisers attract additional overseas visitors.”

Contact in the County Council:
The Gathering 2013 County Co-ordinator; Community, Enterprise and Economic Development, Offaly County Council, Aras an Chontae, Charleville Road, Tullamore. Ph: 05793 46829; email thegathering@offalycoco.ie or view Offaly events online at www.thegatheringireland.com

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