Gatherings offer warm welcome to the west

Published 09/01/2013 | 10:20

Martina Canty, Mark Murphy, Padraig O'Connor, John Griffin, Jaeici O Mhuircheartaigh & Micheal de Mordha with (front, from left) Kathleen Begley, Maryanne McGovern, Caroline Boland and Isabelle Bennett.

AS 2013 gets underway, preparations in advance of The Gathering – or indeed 'An Tóstal' as it is known as Gaeilge – are in full swing on the Dingle Peninsula.

Following the official launch of An Tóstal in Dingle on New Year's Eve, details are now available on a number of Gathering events scheduled for Corca Dhuibhne - including a special ' Welcome Home Week' which is hoped will attract hundreds of visitors to the area in 2013.

According to Mícheál de Mórdha of the local organising committee, a special ' Seachtain Fáilte Abhaile' will take place from May 2329 which will invite people of Dingle Peninsula or Blasket Island heritage (or indeed friends or past visitors to the area) to return to Corca Dhuibhne for a week of festivities.

Details of the event have been circulated in the US and the schedule of which is to include a Ball Night in Ionad an Bhlascaoid, horse racing on Beál Bán Beach, a lecture on Dingle's links with Western Massachusetts, plus a screening of 'Blasket Roots –American Dreams' in the Phoenix Cinema.

Other events scheduled for the week include traditional music concerts, mutton pie and seafood nights, ' hooleys' in Baile an Fheirteáraigh and Baile na nGall, boat-trips to see Fungie the Dolphin, visits to the Dingle Distillery and Dingle Brewery, day trips to Annascaul and Clochán-Breannáinn and trips to the Great Blasket Island.

A Féile Fáilte Abhaile na mBlascaod agus Chorca Dhuibhne has also been developed by Mícheál de Mórdha and Mícheál Ó Cinnéide of Ionad an Bhlascaoid Mhóir who have linked up with friends across the pond who are also lending their expertise in helping to promote the project.

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