Wednesday 13 December 2017

Pat Cash an option for The Gathering?


EVENTS TO mark next year's 'Gathering' do not need to be in the mega class, organiser Fionnán Nestor told Wexford councillors last week.

The event is being run to bring the Irish abroad home during 2013 and 500 events around the island have already been pencilled into the Government-backed programme.

' They don't have to be massive,' Fionnán Nestor explained to the members of Wexford County Council. 'It could be just you and one other.' He reckoned that, if everyone in Ireland persuaded someone abroad to come to the country to join their birthday party, then the Gathering would be a success.

'People are straining to do big things but lots of small things could be more successful,' agreed Cllr. Ted Howlin. Fionnán Nestor was intrigued to note that The Hook has been suggested as one possible venue for a gathering of lighthouse keepers.

Cllr. Declan MacPartlin (Ind.) asked colleagues to note that the Ferns gathering is due to take place over the June Bank Holiday 2013.

Enniscorthy-based Keith Doyle (FF) recalled that Pat Cash's mother came from his home town and wondered whether the former Wimbledon tennis champion could be persuaded to act as an ambassador for the local gathering movement.

The guest speaker confirmed to Cllr. Michael Sheehan (FF) that no funding is available to back local gatherings. However, Wexford coordinator Amanda Byrne is available to give advice and guidance. Promoters were advised to make sure that their events are posted on the internet.

Cllr. Pat Cody (Lab.) was concerned that hoteliers and restaurateurs might take the opportunity to raise prices and leave visitors feeling ripped off. His worries were echoed by Cllr. Padge Reck ( Ind.) who warned, 'If you put people off, they will never come again.'

Planning director Eamonn Hore told them that the possibility of discount rates for tourists coming to Wexford is being considered.

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