The Gathering Ireland 2013: a festive year in Ireland

2013 seems like the perfect time to visit the Emerald Isle. Ireland is hosting a big " gathering "Aimed at Irish people around the world but also at all tourists attracted to the island. In the program : 2200 activities including festivals, banquets, Celtic music, sports tournaments, historical conferences and genealogical research. A brief overview of the activities on offer and the origins of the massive exodus in the 19th century.

Ireland, land appreciated for its hospitality and the beauty of its landscapes, is one of the six Celtic countries recognized by the Celtic league with Scotland, Wales, the region of Brittany, the Isle of Man and Cornwall. The island is divided into two parts: North Ireland (6 counties) member of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland (26 counties) created in 1949. This year, the whole island invites us to a big gathering.

The Gathering Ireland 2013: 2,200 events planned in Ireland

Gathering means in English "gathering" or "reunion". Initiated by the Irish tourist office, this gathering encourages Irish people in the diaspora to come and find their families and their roots. Tourists are also invited to activities to discover Irish culture or even visit their expatriate friends. According to data from the Irish Tourist Board website, nearly 160 different nationalities cohabit in Ireland.

Among the most anticipated and original festivals, we can count:

- The festival of Saint Patrick "> Saint Patrick paying homage to the evangelizer of Ireland, March 17

- The festival Bloomsday dedicated to the writer J. Joyces, June 16

- The festival redheads, Crosshaven, August 24

- The festival All Ireland Fleadh, traditional music festival in August

The activities are grouped by theme and concern all areas: theatrical and musical events, sports competitions, artistic and literary exhibitions, alumni evenings, historical seminars, genealogical research, meetings on the theme of agriculture and education ... They are organized by public establishments but also by individuals wishing to create their own gatherings.

Being part of these events is a good opportunity for visit Ireland notably through Dublin, Belfast, the Wicklow mountains, Connemara to Galway or the south towards Cork. The island, whose size represents 1/7 of France, is suitable for short-distance travel. Ireland has many lakes, sublime mountains, megaliths and dolmens, castles, and very interesting national museums (free for all). With its 3,100 km of coastline, we never find ourselves more than 100 km from the sea.

A dive into history

Of the 2200 events punctuating " The Gathering Ireland 2013», More than 800 are classified under the heading« Heritage / Tracing Your Roots »and are intended for heritage and genealogy.

Exhibitions and seminars dedicated to the history of Ireland and its people are offered across the island. The Viking invasion and Irish emigration are on the agenda as well as the role of the Irish in world conflicts.

Some upcoming historical festivals / conferences:

The History Festival of Ireland, June 15-16, 2013 in Carlow: public lectures on Irish emigration in the presence of around thirty international historians.

Monagha Conference, June 25, Monagha: Aims to commemorate the involvement of a former residents in the infamous Battle of Little Big Horn. This battle opposed General Custer to the armies of Sitting Bull on June 25 and 26, 1876.

Living History 2013, June, July August in Drogheda: will deal with the famous battle of the Boyne (July 1690) and the presence of twelve different European nationalities. During this conflict, William III of Orange (Protestant) defeated the Catholic King James II of England, however supported by Louis XIV.

The Dublin festival of History, September 27, 2013 in Dublin: celebration of the hundredth anniversary of landmark Dublin events such as the Great Dublin Strike of 1913 and the The Irish Citizen Army, militia formed by the revolutionary James Connolly.

In search of Irish ancestors

All over Ireland, genealogical research assistance services and workshops are offered to visitors of Irish descent and to locals wishing to trace their roots. In County Meath, for example, an ecomuseum (heritage center) will be open from June to September in order to provide the necessary resources, such as death registers, to carry out research. Visitors are advised to know the names and residences of their ancestors as well as to own family records.

Many gatherings are also organized by "clan" and aim to bring together all the people with the same surname: Mc Shane, Mc Keown, O’Connor, O’Reilly, Mc Cabe ...

The origins of the diaspora

The exodus gradually began in the 17th century continuously to Great Britain and the United States. It was in the middle of the 14th century that it became massive. Between 1845 and 1848, more than two million Irish left the country following famine caused by potato disease. Crops are ravaged by the fungus Phytophthora infestans, also called downy mildew. Unable to cultivate crops, farm workers lose their jobs and their main source of food, and fall ill. The statues of the Famine Memorial (photo opposite), located in Dublin near the quays, are a good illustration of the plight of the inhabitants. Prior to this exodus, Ireland was home to a population of 8 million, and currently has nearly 6 million.

The Irish emigrated mainly to the United States, Great Britain, Australia but also to New Zealand, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, the Caribbean and continental Europe. According to the backpacker's guide figures, there are 70 million people claiming to be of Irish origin, 40 million of whom live in the United States and 1 million in France.

For more information :

- Official site "The Gathering Ireland", in English

- Program of events, in French

- The History Festival of Ireland

Video: HD An Irish Christmas (January 2022).