Over two hundred people attended the launch of The Donegal Gathering 2012 and what an evening it turned out to be! Hosted by Caitlin Ui Chochlainn, from Donegal County Council, the launch was streamed on the internet via live webcast and featured speeches, live music and a prize draw for the Donegal Diaspora.
The sense of togetherness and kinship was palpable throughout the room as messages of encouragement and support poured in from across the globe from those affiliated with our proud county. From New Zealand to Newfoundland, and from Boston to Iran, this celebration of Donegal’s rich heritage was truly a global experience. Speeches included those from Kingsley Aiken, from Diaspora matters; Noel McBride, the county Mayor; and Seamus Neely, the county manager. Noel McBride also announced the winners of four “homecoming” prizes to be distributed to the Donegal Associations worldwide. If there is one thing we do well in this county, it is culture, and the immense musical talent on display was a testament to this.
Trudy O’Donnell and guests kept the celebratory atmosphere tipping along, and the students from Colaiste Ailigh demonstrated that the future of this rich tradition is in safe hands. Last but by no means least, the worldwide audience in attendance was treated to a captivating performance by Moya Brennan, of Clannad, accompanied on guitar by her daughter. Moya also spoke eloquently about how we can all play our part in being ambassadors for our county when we travel. The Donegal Gathering will promote all that Donegal has to offer culturally. Follow us on facebook and twitter for regular updates. Judging by what has been witnessed at this launch, we are guaranteed an exciting year ahead!