A TOTAL of 39 Gathering events will receive funding in Louth under the nationwide €2m IPB Gathering Ireland Fund. Details of the gatherings were announced on by Michael Ring, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport at a launch in Castletown House Kildare.
The gatherings, divided into key county flagship events and community gatherings are funded as a result of a €1M philanthropic donation by IPB Insurance that was matched by the Gathering Ireland in response to the enormous interest expressed nationwide in the tourism initiative. The overall total of 39 funded events in County Louth is made up of three flagship events and 36 local community events.
The three flagship events to have received funding are:
Drogheda Samba Festival
Louth Land of Legends Nautical Gathering Event
The National Leprechaun Hunt, Carlingford
Speaking at the announcement, Joan Martin, County Manager, Louth County Council said: “we expect to achieve several thousand additional incremental overseas visitors to County Louth directly as a result of The Gathering. This will contribute greatly to the local economy as visitors will spend throughout a range of businesses from accommodation to restaurants and retail. We are looking forward to a positive year for tourism in County Louth and to working together on one of the largest ever tourism initiatives in Ireland.’
Minister Ring said: “I’m delighted that we can present such a huge range of flagship events which shows what a great year we have ahead of us. There really is something for everyone, whether you live in Ireland or are coming from overseas. The IPB Gathering Ireland Fund will have a real impact on 2013 and I commend IPB Insurance for its commitment to this project.”
The €2m fund was administered by the city and county councils based on agreed application criteria. A key factor in the evaluation process was capacity to attract overseas visitors.
Ronan Foley, CEO of IPB Insurance, said, “The large number of applications received by City and County Councils is testament to the public support and endorsement for The Gathering. IPB Insurance is proud partners of this fantastic initiative that reaches out and supports community and flagship across the country.”