Enda Kenny reveals €2m in extra funds for the Gathering
TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has promised a €2m funding top-up for the event designed to bring Irish emigrants back home next year.
The Gathering is designed to increase the number of tourists next year by 375,000 - and is modelled on a similar event in Scotland called the Homecoming.
Mr Kenny said the funding would help develop events to give people a reason to come here next year.
"It was a big success in Scotland. We can beat that success here. The Gathering has the potential to set a new standard for tourism investment," he said.
The Gathering already had a budget of €5m to support planning and existing festivals.
But the €2m in extra funding will allow local authorities to finance around 700 new events. Around €1m will go towards up to three "flagship events" in each council area, with grants ranging from €25,000-€700,000.
Another €1m will be provided for around small community events, with grants ranging from €500 to €2,500.
Half of the funding has come from Irish Public Bodies, which provides insurance to city and county councils, and the other half in matching funding has been provided by the Department of Transport.