The Gathering 2013 is a year long celebration of all things Irish – its people, its unique culture, heritage and rich history! It is about the people of Ireland throwing open their arms and inviting anyone who feels a connection to Ireland to come and visit in 2013! The planning of many local gatherings is well underway, and they are being organised by schools and colleges, special interest clubs, groups of relatives and businesses. In addition to the local gatherings, these gatherings will be supported by festivals that will be bigger and better in 2013.
So if you have Irish blood, a direct link to Ireland, or have just always wanted to visit, make 2013 the year to come! It’s your chance to be a part of something very special. Go on - Jump into Ireland in 2013 - be part of it!
Did you know that Hilary Weston (owner of Holt Renfrew and former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario) was born and raised in Ireland? And she's not the only famous Irish Canadian. Brian Burke (the Toronto Maple Leaf's GM) and Keanu Reeves (famous actor) both have Irish ancestry and even John Charest, the Premier of Quebec has Irish roots! And would you believe Tim Horton had Irish ancestry too?
Did you know that in the 18th and 19th centuries, over 4 million people left in island of Ireland, with many travelling across the Atlantic to Canada? Following the Great Famine of 1845, mass emigration occurred, and there are now over 70 million people worldwide who claim Irish ancestry! Considering that only 6 million people live on island itself, that is pretty impressive!
You’ve found that tangible link to your homeland, now it’s time to make it official! The Irish government is distributing official Certificates of Irish Heritage to anyone who can prove that they have Irish ancestors. Just input information from your family tree, and you’ll receive a document certifying that you indeed have Irish heritage.