SOME 23 events in Fingal will receive funding from the €2 million IPB Gathering Ireland Fund which will distribute €2 million to 1,322 events planned across the country for the yearlong festival.
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 1,322 funded events is made up of 82 county flagship events and 1,240 local community events. Minister for State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring said at launch of the funding: '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 city and county councils based on agreed application criteria. A key factor in the evaluation process was capacity to attract overseas visitors. Funding streams under the €2million IPB Gathering Ireland stream have now closed and local plans are now underway to bring these events to fruition. Ronan Foley, Chief Executive 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 are proud partners of this fantastic initiative that reaches out and supports community and flagship events right across the country and hopefully will serve to lift the mood of the nation. ' 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, saying: ' As of today there are a total of 2,600 Gatherings registered on the website. ' This really does demonstrate how much people have embraced the Gathering. The support from IPB Insurance 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.' Minister Ring concluded: ' Our marketing efforts have moved up a level to promote the Gathering 2013, and have received a further boost with Ireland's inclusion in Fodor's Travel 'Go List' of top destinations to visit in 2013. 'USA Today has included The Gathering Ireland 2013 in its five ' buzzworthy destinations for 2013', while Rick Steve's' has included a hurling match as one of the '8 magical experiences in Europe'. 'In preparation for 2013, I attended many Gathering 2013 town hall meetings across the country so I am familiar with some of the exciting events and projects planned. It is wonderful that the funding announced today will assist in the organisation of these events and I wish each of them every success.'