Editor's Choice Archive 1

The Gathering -- Ireland’s Doors Open for a Reunion in 2013

Get Ready for the Party of Your Life

By Patricia Keegan

In Dublin, during its 2012 New Year’s Eve celebration, in spectacular style, Ireland launched its 2013 plans for the “Gathering” -- a unique celebration of what it means to be Irish. This is an open invitation to friends and family around the world to step across Ireland’s doorstep and embark on a great adventure. They will discover that the legend of Irish hospitality, the drama of its landscape, and the charm of the Irish, was not just a fairytale told by the leprechauns -- it truly is what makes Ireland unique in the world.

Former president Mary Robinson upheld this welcoming tradition by placing a lighted candle in her window, symbolizing the warm, Irish welcome. Ireland, the land of saints and scholars, bursts with a lively, young population of talented and creative people. In recent history, Riverdance left an indelible imprint when this dynamite dance production arrived on the world’s stage, and the singers ofCeltic Woman played our heartstrings with emotional Irish ballads. This, and so much more, showcases the creative power and poetry of a small island.

To walk the land, as one of the family, and partake of its attributes, has the potential to be life changing. One finds shop keepers and taxi drivers who enjoy a good “craic” (chat), sharing a laugh, a story, calling you “luv,” and making you feel at home. A good laugh is never far from the Irish perspective on life, a welcome adjustment that one makes with ease.