Doyle says Gathering will bring long-term benefits
DEPUTY Andrew Doyle believes the success of The Gathering will leave an impact on Irish tourism which will be felt for years to come.
He has praised The Gathering 2013 Government initiative for providing a much needed boost to the Irish economy having attended a number of The Gathering events, the most recent of which was the Canada Come Home event held in the grounds of Coollattin Estate.
'Attending Canada Come Home I was struck by the impact of hosting such an event in such a historic and yet relatively unknown location. The former home of the Fitzwilliam estate is steeped in history and it was hugely emotive for the visiting Canadians as well as being significant for the local area and population who have strong links with the old estate. I have no doubt that the visitors who came from Canada for this Gathering event will go back with very positive stories of their recent experience in Ireland and this in turn will attract more Canadians with Irish ancestry to research their roots and visit the home of their ancestors and in turn strengthen Ireland-Canada relations.
'I was delighted to present a Certificate of Irish Heritage to the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency Loyola Hearn and his wife Maureen at the opening of the Canada Come Home event as well taking the opportunity to view the House and the various exhibitions that were on display around the House. Some of these exhibitions remain on display in Coollattin House and are being visited by local schools in the area keen to learn more about their local history and the links that exist between Ireland and Canada. I applaud the efforts of all involved in the staging of this event and thank the management of Coollattin House and Golf Club for making the venue available to the public and would encourage them to build on the success of this event as I believe it could be pivotal in the development of a more focussed heritage themed event aimed at fostering, promoting and developing links between Ireland and Canada.'