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Cork Gathering Flagship Events Officially Launched At Cork Airport

18 December 2012

‘Rebel Week’ To Take Centre Stage in October 2013

The launch of Cork’s programme of events for The Gathering 2013 took place at Cork Airport this morning. Over 220 spectacular events are planned to take place across Cork City and County during 2013, welcoming friends and family home to the ‘Rebel County’.

Cllr. Barbara Murray, County Mayor and Cllr. John Buttimer, Lord Mayor of Cork, were joined at today’s official launch event by a host of celebrities with a proud Cork heritage. Cork Gathering Ambassador and the doyenne of Ballymaloe, Darina Allen; the Queen of England’s favourite fishmonger, Pat O’Connell; legendary Cork GAA star, Seán Óg Ó hAilpín; the first and only person to complete the Oceans7 Challenge, Stephen Redmond; and Cork’s current Rose of Tralee, Bríd Ryan, all joined in the fun of the launch which got underway to the melodic tones of Co. Cork soprano, Karen Long.

Cork’s keynote Gathering initiative in its comprehensive 12-month calendar of activities is ‘Rebel Week’, which was unveiled as a group of drummers led the celebrities through the Arrivals doors at Cork Airport to great fanfare this morning. This focal point of The Gathering in Cork will showcase a week-long series of specially commissioned events running from October 14th-20th 2013. Among the diverse events scheduled for ‘Rebel Week’ include a commemoration of the birth of revolutionary leader and Cork’s first son, Michael Collins, on October 16th; a Cork Global Economic Forum; and a unique and novel ‘Cork Passport’ scheme where those wishing to get their hands on this coveted document must be willing to prove their Cork credentials. Applications are welcome on the ‘Rebel Week’ websitewww.corkrebelweek2013.com.

Speaking at launch event, official Gathering Ambassador, Darina Allen, who is organising her own Gathering event in May 2013 –the Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine - was clearly delighted to be involved in planning next year’s high profile events. “Looking at the schedule of events for next year, it’s going to be a fantastic opportunity to welcome friends, family and international visitors to the Rebel County. Although not born and bred in Cork myself, I consider myself an adopted daughter of this proud county and am honoured and humbled to have been chosen as an Ambassador for the Gathering Cork 2013”.

Commenting on The Gathering’s ‘Rebel Week’, Padraic O’Kane, CEO of Corporate.ie (event promoters of ‘Rebel Week’) said “Rebel Week seeks to embody the spirit of The Gathering in an engaging and, above all, lasting way. We are striving to ensure that through its activities, the week becomes a catalyst for Cork’s economic rejuvenation in the short and longer-term. With a target of attracting 5,000 international visitors, the week is geared towards fostering a sense of inclusivity and ‘family’ among citizens, businesses and all sectors of Cork society that translates into civic and commercial renewal.”

From the 22nd to the 25th of August 2013, Cork will also play host to the World Mini Games. The multi-sport event, focused on reduced format versions of sport such as five-a-side football and rugby sevens, will take place at the Mardyke Sports Grounds and various locations around the city and county. Up to 30 different sports will be on offer for adults of all sporting abilities to compete for a World Mini Games title.

A key economic Gathering event will take place in Cork on January 21st and 22nd when the two day Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG) “Silicon Valley comes to Ireland” summit of global business leaders, high level executives, entrepreneurs and investors from US and Ireland convenes in Cork. Cork City Council, Cork Chamber, UCC and CIT have partnered with the ITLG to bring this international event to Cork.  This event is one of a series of initiatives to foster the recognition of Cork as a de facto European technology cluster and is being developed in collaboration with local industry and it@cork.

The Gathering is about reconnecting families and communities and extending the invitation to the diaspora to come home and join in the celebration. One community embracing this is Allihies village which, from September 12th to 15th 2013, is welcoming the copper-mining diaspora home to trace their ancestral roots. During the 1800’s, Allihies was a flourishing community due the abundance of copper in the area, but when the mines became exhausted many workers emigrated across the world, particularly to Butte Montana, a city that is also known today as ‘Shamrock City’! The celebrations will culminate in a choir singing deep within the mines of Allihies.

Among the events to take place next year is The Irish Redhead Convention which makes a welcome return to Crosshaven Co. Cork. Fiery-locked participants from overseas and around the country will receive their certificates of genuine ginger authenticity, compete in freckle counting contests and take part in the traditional redhead parade through the village.

From the Cork Stout Festival to the Spike Island Triathlon to the Cork City Marathon taking place on Bank Holiday Monday, June 3rd, and the numerous clan gatherings in between, The Gathering 2013 will see Cork opening its arms with a ‘Céad Míle Fáilte’ to welcome friends and family home from all over the world to be part of a fun-filled year of celebration and great craic!

Significant investment has been made by key stakeholders Cork County Council, Cork City Council, Fáilte Ireland, IPB and Cork Airport to the tune of approximately €1million to ensure that Cork has The Gathering of all Gatherings in 2013.

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