On Wednesday 3rd October, the Minister for Sport – Mr. Michael Ring TD and the Mayor of South Dublin – Cllr. Cathal King launched The Gathering Dublin. The Irish American Football Association is pleased to announce that it is one of the partners in The Gathering Dublin and will be staging a number of events in South Dublin during 2013. A new website – www.thegatheringdublin.com went live after the launch.

At the Global Irish Economic Forum held in 2011, the Irish Government announced that 2013 would mark the year of The Gathering, the biggest tourism initiative ever created for Ireland. Minister Leo Varadkar stated that “The Gathering will be a year long programme of events festivals and fun”. In response, South Dublin Tourism conceived The Gathering Dublin, which is expected to be the most prominent initiate in the The Gathering 2013 calender of events.

South Dublin County is home to Basketball Ireland, Baseball Ireland and the Irish American Football Association, so the county decided to build on its unique association with American sports to put together a series of events aimed at giving visitors the opportunity to compete in sporting events within the County. Other sporting and cultural organizations have also joined the initiative to give a programme of events that spans 15 sporting and cultural areas.

The Gathering Dublin is also unique in that it brings together local government, national sporting facilities, the tourist industry, cultural organizations and the sporting National Governing Bodies into a single partnership that is not only able to host major events, but also able to fully cater for the travel, accommodation, cultural, educational and sight seeing needs of the visitors.

The American football events to be run in South Dublin in 2013 as part of the programme of events in 2013 are:

EFAF Atlantic Cup (June 28/29): This is the official Western European Amateur Club Championship. Irish Champions, Belfast Trojans will compete against teams from the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg over the weekend of 28th/29th June. The Atlantic Cup will be run as a festival style event whereby fans can sit back and enjoy the games, take part in some interactive American football skills games and enjoy some local food and drink. Visitors from Europe can also take part in some cultural activities.

Shamrock Bowl XXVII (July): This is Ireland’s National Championship game and will take place in Tallaght Stadium. It will be run as a family orientated event and will be used to showcase the IAFL to a wider audience. For the first time ever, travel packages will be available for European and American fans who want to attend the game.

The Gathering Classic games (Aug/Sept): Four visiting North American teams will play a doubleheader of games in Tallaght Stadium in late August or early September. These will be regular season competitive games featuring large high school, college or semi-professional teams. The aim of the event will be to introduce Irish and European fans to the unique atmosphere of a major US game as well as showcasing Tallaght Stadium as a venue for major American football games in the future. The visiting teams and fans will also be able to enjoy some Irish cultural experiences.

Welcome Message from The Gathering Dublin team:

The Gathering Dublin is set to bring everyone who loves Ireland back for a year of fantastic events. From American Football to Baseball to Art Competitions, 2013 is the year where we all get together to “Meet To Compete” in South Dublin, located 30 minutes from one of Europe’s most historic yet cosmopolitan cities. Dublin, voted one of the world’s friendliest cities is busy preparing for a very exciting 2013.

With visitors arriving from all over the world, here in South Dublin we’ve decided to show off what we do best. We have top of the line sporting facilities like Tallaght Stadium and The National Basketball Arena, there’s theatre spaces like Civic Theatre and RUA RED and we’re completely connected by the bus and red line LUAS.

With 25 sporting events, an international art competition running across 15 countries and the chance to trace your genealogy, The Gathering Dublin 2013 welcomes first-timers and ex-pats to Ireland for a chance to make memories and fondly visit old ones.

2013 is the year for everyone who loves being Irish!

So – if you are connected to Ireland in some way – either through genealogy, college attendance, alumni association or business connection, if you are or have played for a school, college or state and would like to have your team ‘Meet to Compete’ in The Gathering Dublin 2013, drop us a note at info@thegatheringdublin.com

The Gathering Dublin Events: American football, Art, Basketball, Baseball, Bridge, Canoeing, Cricket, Cycling, Soccer, Golf, Irish Dancing, Ladies Football, Poker and Youth Soccer.

Partners: South Dublin Tourism, South Dublin County Council, The Gathering Ireland, County Dublin Vocational Educational Committee, Department of Environment, Fingal Leader Partnership.

Media Partners: World Irish, European Irish, Irish Central.

Travel Partner: Joe O’Reilly Ireland Group.