Gathering book could be an ideal stocking-filler
In spite of the cynicism surrounding its early days, the Gathering 2013 has left us with much to celebrate in terms of innovation and community creativity, not to mention the significant boost in tourism figures.
Among the valuable outcomes of the year's events is a lovely book recounting what happened around the country.
Entitled The Gathering -- Reflections on Ireland the book captures the year in pictures and words and features fine reflections by some of our best known writers and artists.
The content includes a Seamus Heaney poem, The Mud Vision, and a reflection on the poem by the late poet himself, along with pieces by well known writers like Michael Harding, Rosita Boland, Fergal Keane and Colum McCann.
Other contributors include Marian Finnucane, Micheál ó Muircheartaigh, Pat Shortt and Brian O'Driscoll.
At the heart of the book are the individuals, communities and families and the stories of how they celebrated the Gathering.
It tells of an Australian who traced the footsteps of her great-great grandmother to the workhouse in Carrick on Shannon.
And there's the story of the Abbey Fishermen in Limerick and an event that brought together eight fishing families scattered to the four winds by the building of the hydro electric power station at Ardnacrusha.