Birmingham guests enjoy Gathering night out in Arklow
A NIGHT of music and dance was enjoyed at the Arklow Bay Hotel by a large number of visitors from Birmingham who chose Arklow as their destination as part of The Gathering.
Over 50 ex-pats as well as members of the Wicklow Association in Bimingham and Chairperson Queenie Mulvihill spent the past week in Co. Wicklow and used Arklow as their base for exploring all that the Garden County has to offer.
There was no shortage of entertainment at Thursday's extravaganza with performances from Jimmy Gallagher, Tony Davitt and the Rory O'Connor School of Dance. A surprise visit from Coolboy tenor Des Willoughby and his father Richard was the icing on the cake and they received a standing ovation from all present.
Des who is about to embark on two upcoming tours in the US and Ireland with The Willoughby Brothers was delighted to meet with Tinahely native and cousin Queenie who spoke on stage about how she left her home county in the 50s but never forgot where she came from.
This event was just one of many that the visitors enjoyed during their stay and many day trips to tourist spots in Wicklow were thoroughly enjoyed by all.
'The feedback from the group has been fantastic,' explained Cllr. Pat Fitzgerald who helped to organise the trip along with local man Paddy Finn.
'Many of them have not been home in years and couldn't believe all that Wicklow has to offer. Also their own relatives from all over Ireland came to Arklow to see them so that also gave an extra boost to the local economy. They couldn't believe how friendly the people of Arklow were and they had a great time at Avoca Handweavers, The Meetings, Glendalough, Wicklow Gaol and of course shopping in Arklow,' he added.