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The Marble City Pulls Out All the Stops As Kilkenny Launches its Gathering Brochure for 2013

Today, Wednesday, 27th February, 2013, Kilkenny enthusiastically launched its Gathering Programme for 2013 with a celebratory launch event in The Pembroke Hotel, Kilkenny. Kilkenny Ambassadors Bobby Kerr, Evanne Ni Chuilinn and Darren Holden were on hand to join in the celebrations as the Kilkenny Gathering Steering Committee unveiled its official calendar of events for the Gathering Ireland 2013.

Key highlights from the programme of events include; Tradfest, a feast of traditional music, song and dance full of free events and activities, which takes place on St. Patricks Weekend, 16th & 17th March in Kilkenny city and the Castlecomer Dig Deep festival which runs over July and August and will explore the rich mining heritage of Castlecomer and the surrounding areas, and the Crafts Council of Ireland’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the pioneering Kilkenny Design Workshops featuring their flagship exhibition in November.

A number of clan gatherings are also planned to take place over the year and will feature family names including Wall, Harper and Coogan.  Other events of note are the Savour Kilkenny Festival of Food, where you can experience 50 shades of flavour from October 24th-28th, and the Coons This is Who We Are, a week long celebratory event in Coon and Croghtenclogh, featuring a host of events including an operatic recital Ms. Rachel Somers, and a series of plays by local drama group Kilquan Players.  Some communities from around the county are also planning smaller local events like the school reunion in Kilmacoliver.

Sporting associations and clubs will also play their part in The Gathering, with Kilkenny Rugby Football Club hosting the first annual Marble City Sevens tournament on 28th-30th of June, Kilkenny G.A.A. welcoming a team from the Indianapolis GAA in July and Castlecomer Golf Club hosting a week of special events for former members in July and August.

Charitable organisations will also benefit from the year of events, with a law enforcement torch run in aid of the Special Olympics, featuring members of the 2013 Special Olympic team.  The event will see international police officers descend on Kilkenny to celebrate the ten year anniversary of the Special Olympics World Summer Games held in 2003.Langtons Hotel will also get into spirit of The Gathering when they host the Hennessy Cup at Mount Juliet to raise much needed funds for the Carlow Kilkenny Home Care Team.  And if that’s not enough, other 2013 Kilkenny Gathering highlights include Kilkenny Arts Festival’s Gathering Voices Choir, the Iverk Show homecoming in August and the Emmigration through the Centuries hosted by Rothe House & Garden in April.

Speaking about the launch; Darren Holden of The High Kings said; “The Gathering is a fantastic initiative, and has the potential to provide a real legacy for tourism in Ireland and Kilkenny. Kilkenny is already very attractive to tourists, with the medieval heritage of the town drawing thousands of visitors to the Castle and St. Canice’s and all of the festivals around the county every year, but it’s wonderful to see so many grassroots organisations getting involved in the gathering and expanding on the all great work that has already been done in the county”.

Also commenting on the launch Kilkenny Ambassador Bobby Kerr said; “People from all around the world feel a great affinity for Ireland, not just recent emigrants but third or fourth generation, who still feel a connection to their Irish heritage. It’s all about getting people together, bringing people back to your own parish and town for that sense of welcome for which Ireland is known around the world.”

For further information, either on attending or participating in The Gathering Ireland 2013, please contact, or call 087 6264333 or visit

Download a copy of the Kilkenny Gathering Brochure

Kilkenny Gathering Brochure


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