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Come visit, Kenny tells diaspora

A call has been made to Ireland's diaspora to come home to where the heart is.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny urged the 70 million people worldwide of Irish descent, and even those who just want a touch of Irishness, to make a trip to the Emerald Isle next year to be part of The Gathering 2013.

Villages and towns in every county have been urged to stage events celebrating their history to attract their long-lost emigrants for a holiday back home.

"This is actually a brilliant opportunity for the country to unite, north and south, in standing up to the economic challenge that we have," he said.


"We are calling now on every community, from city suburbs to rural villages, as well as clubs, associations and businesses, to start thinking about how they might work together to develop events which celebrate their own unique stories and engage connections around the world."

The Gathering Ireland 2013 aims to be the biggest tourism event ever held in the country, bringing in 325,000 extra visitors and an additional ¤170m in revenue.

Several clans -- including the O'Deas of Co Clare, the Gallaghers of Donegal and Fitzgeralds of Co Limerick -- are inviting their namesakes.