THE GATHERING – REFLECTIONS ON IRELAND Featuring some of Ireland’s best writers and other leaders in their fields Every cent to go to hospice care in Irish hospitals

Published on : Tuesday, December 3, 2013

tourism-ireland1 (1)A new book from The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) The Gathering – Reflections on Ireland features compelling stories from the Gathering 2013 events in Ireland and an inspiring collection of reflections on Irish identity from extraordinary people like the late Seamus Heaney, Bono, Colum McCann, Moya Doherty, Brian O’Driscoll, Loretta Brennan Glucksman and Niall O Dowd.

Edited by journalist Miriam Donohoe, the 256 page full colour, hardback book celebrates a nation and her people – at home and abroad. It features compelling stories from many of the people who took part in The Gathering 2013, an initiative to welcome home the Irish diaspora. The book also examines what it means to be Irish through a series of thoughtful and thought provoking reflections from some of our best writers, artists and other influential leaders in their fields.

Beautifully designed by Steve Averill of AMP Visual, internationally acclaimed for his award winning work with U2 , The Gathering – Reflections on Ireland contains 31 reflections and 76 Gathering events captured through narrative or photographs.

All proceeds from sales of the book will be used to support the Irish Hospice Foundation’s work in Irish hospitals. One out of two people in Ireland die in hospital. Funds will be invested in the pioneering Design & Dignity project which aims to improve the physical surroundings and facilities in hospitals for people at end of life and for their loved ones. Spaces are being created where private last words can be spoken, where bad news can be broken or where family and friends may take a moment to reflect and have a cup of tea.
The Irish Hospice Foundation is the national charity which is dedicated to all matters relating to dying, death and bereavement in Ireland.

Some of the reflections in the book:

• Read about award winning Irish writer COLUM MCCANN eating, yes eating, Joyce’s Ulysses

• Ever wondered what Ireland is like from space? Well, COMMANDER CHRIS HADFIELD has the answer

• It’s a touching moment as BONO shares a personal illustration of his late father and the hand written l lyrics of the song he dedicated to him

• From elation to despair, rugby legend BRIAN O’DRISCOLL reflects on his experience of pulling on the green jersey

• Olympic gold boxing medallist KATIE TAYLOR shares her message of hope for Ireland

• Actor and comedian PAT SHORTT wins the prize for most stereotypical Irish upbringing

• MOYA DOHERTY takes us on a rhythmical journey from Donegal to the bright lights of some of world’s major cities

• While broadcaster MARIAN FINUCANE reminds us to remember, especially in this the year of The Gathering, the hardship and suffering on which the Irish diaspora was founded.

Some of the Gathering events which feature in the book:

‘The Gathering of Stones’ where masons from the United States and their Irish counterparts constructed a special dry wall structure in Offaly incorporating granite blocks from the old immigrant docks in New York;

‘The Famine Attic Experience’ where Neisha Wratten travelled from Adelaide to relive the last night her great-great-grandmother spent at the Carrick-on-Shannon workhouse;
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.

Launching the book in Dublin, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny described the book as a ‘jewel’ and went on to say: “This is a unique book for a unique time for Ireland, its people and our diaspora. It is a testament to our culture of storytelling and what emerges from the pages is the strong connection between Ireland and her people – wherever they are. The many talented contributors to the book explore Irish identity both at home and abroad.”

The book’s editor Miriam Donohoe commented: “It was wonderful to be involved with The Gathering – Reflections on Ireland and to experience people’s generosity of spirit in sharing their stories, their photographs and their perspectives on Ireland. Some of the people in the book are famous and highly accomplished Irish men and women. Many are less well known but their contributions are no less important. The book strives to honestly capture the variety of experiences of being Irish or feeling Irish. There is much to make you think, smile and sometimes laugh out loud in the book. We believe that it will be a unique memento of this national year-long celebration of Ireland and will be treasured long after the year of The Gathering draws to a close.”

Sharon Foley, CEO of the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF), stated: “We hope that Irish people, all over the world, will buy The Gathering – Reflections on Ireland and make it a bestseller for Christmas 2013. For each of us there is only one chance in life for a good death – that’s one chance to get end-of-life care right. We rely on public good will and support for our work to bring quality end-of-life care and bereavement support to everyone, when they need it and where they need it. ”

The Gathering – Reflections on Ireland is the seventh in a series of highly acclaimed special projects produced by the IHF (Chy 6830). The Whoseday Book was published as a millennium diary for the year 2000. Art:pack was produced in the year 2001. Peter & the Wolf followed in 2003; LifeStory in 2006; Zest! in 2009 and the Thank You book in 2010.

Source:- Tourism Ireland

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