Happy New Same Old Same Old!

The Gathering

Gabriel Byrne branded this a “scam” and said Irish-Americans will not be “shaken down” for money

So – there’s a big New Year’s Eve event/festival/fireworks/gig/thingy in Dublin City Centre tonight.  This is to celebrate the New Year, obviously, but is also a key launch event for The Gathering, the initiative whereby everyone with an “O” in their name – such as Obama – is encouraged to remember their Irish roots and come home to get in touch with their roots, meet up with friends and family and enjoy our festivals and craic, however you’re spelling it.  And it has nothing whatsoever with getting you to spend your money.  Cos that’d be cynical.  As cynical as that well known cynic, Gabriel Byrne.  You know – our former cultural ambassador to the United States, who said the Gathering was a  “scam” and claimed most Irish people do not “give a s***” about the diaspora, and that  Irish-Americans will not be “shaken down” for money.

(As an aside – Jebus, I’ve not only linked to an Irish newspaper there, I’ve actually quoted an article.  That’ll cost me a kidney!)

Anyway – back on topic. New Year’s Eve.  There’s a whole thing going on in town.  I’d link to it (they’re not charging for links!).  But there’s no point.  The site is down.(*)

Still, never mind.  If you’re in Dublin, or possibly Ireland, you’ll no doubt have heard about what’s on.  There’s a firework display at Stephen’s Green and a concert at College Green, with Imelda May, and, er… other people who won’t be on Jools Holland’s Hootenanny.

Um… good luck getting home.  Dublin Bus – stop running at ten pm.  DART? Sorry, an hour earlier for you.  LUAS? Well, that depends.  Green Line?  You posh southsiders get a Night Luas running until 3:30am.  You scumbag southsiders on the Red Line have to finish up your drinks, now, lads, and get to a Luas stop by half past midnight.

The Luas at least has an excuse – terminal confusion brought on by this film, which features a Luas changing direction multiple times and jumping from Red to Green lines at various points.

In other words, no public transport to speak of, at all, bar taxis.

A website that doesn’t work, for an event that’s going to leave thousands of people queuing for hours and/or without transport.

So, yeah.  Come to Dublin for NYE.  It’ll be great! Spend your money! We’re well organised to look after you!  No, really. Honestly.

So, yeah. Come to Ireland for The Gathering. It’ll be great! Spend your money! We’re well organised to – SPEND YOUR MONEY, DAMMIT! NOW!

Ahem. Sorry about that.

But yeah, there’s an element of planning here that seems somewhat lacking.  The words “pissup” and “St. James’ Gate” are coming to mind…

Anyway.  I’ll be here all year, being my usual cheery self.  Happy New Year, one and all!

(*) Um… while I’ve been writing this, it appears someone phoned someone who chased someone up and the website is now working again.(**)

(**) No, wait, it’s gone again.


5 thoughts on “Happy New Same Old Same Old!

  1. You’re being entirely unfair to Dublin Bus. The Nitelink is running a standard service tonight, so by the time the concert is over and a pint or two is had there’ll be plenty of buses to go home on.

    • You’re right, and I completely missed that. Unfortunately their site hides the Nitelink link down on the bottom right of the home page, out of the way, while “Christmas 2012 Arrangements” and “New Year’s Eve Diversions” are front and centre, and neither make mention of Nitelink services.

      • Actually, the information that Nitelink is running is there under today’s date in the “Christmas 2012 Arrangements”. Though I’ll grant you it’s not very obvious. They definitely could have stood to make it more noticeable.

  2. I wish Ireland the best in its “Gathering” festivities. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A, is the birthplace of the Harley-Davidson Motorcycles. Every few years since about 1990 Harley-Davidson has hosted a Harley riders’ gathering in Milwaukee. It has grown to be a huge success with thousands of riders from across the country attending. Just as the Harley-Davidson motorcycle has a following and a mystique in the U.S.A., so does the Irish culture. I think many people will enjoy your gathering if it is well planned out. One word of caution I would add: the first Harley-Davidson gathering had a few glitches with some of the events. Ireland may not have the opportunity to host one every few years, so make the best of it. Also, in the U.S.A. it is not considered illegal to make some money!

    • There’s nothing wrong with making money, at all. It’s just a little bit tacky that we’re promoting The Gathering so strongly now, when we’re broke, and everyone knows it’s really the invisible exports we’re looking for in terms of tourist dollars from ex-pats and the Diaspora. I don’t know if you saw any of Gabriel Byrne’s comments at the time, but I think he hit the nail on the head.

      Speaking of heads – that’s the other association “The Gathering” has… The Highlander film, where in the end there can be only one!

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