The Gathering Ireland 2013 is a spectacular yearlong celebration of all things Irish and the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has developed a book which is a unique memento of this national celebration of Ireland, its people and our diaspora.
This book is a beautiful collection of over 60 stories, reflections and photographs capturing an extraordinary time for Ireland. It is a high quality, full colour, hard-backed book of 256 pages, edited by accomplished journalist Miriam Donohoe and designed by celebrated designer, Steve Averill of AMP Visual, internationally acclaimed for his award winning work with U2.
It contains many thoughtful reflections on being Irish and on Ireland itself. Contributors include the Bono, Brian O’Driscoll, Colum McCann, Fergal Keane, Katie Taylor, Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh, Moya Doherty, Niall O’Dowd, Pat Shortt, the late Seamus Heaney, Simone Rocha, and many others.
Some of the Gathering events which will be featured include ‘The Famine Attic Experience’ where Neisha Wratten travelled from Adelaide to Leitrim to relive the last night her great-great-grandmother spent at the Carrick-on-Shannon workhouse before being sent to Australia; a special event to mark the return of the ‘Hide and Seek Children’, Slovak Jewish children who spent a year recovering in Ireland in 1948 after the Holocaust; and the ‘Gathering of the Stones’ where masons from Ireland and abroad constructed a special dry wall structure in Offaly incorporating granite blocks from the old immigrant docks in New York.
The book strives to honestly capture the variety of experiences of being Irish (or feeling Irish) – here and abroad. Some of the stories will make us laugh. Some are very personal and moving. Others take a more critical look at who we “the Irish” are and our place in the world. They are thoughtful and thought-provoking. This book will be treasured long after the year of The Gathering draws to a close.