A VIP welcome awaits the men and women taking part in The Irish Post Gathering in Mayo next month in partnership with Leeds Irish Health and Homes.
The Irish Post’s official Gathering for 2013 will be a week-long trip to Ballina in the west of Ireland this September, organised by the Leeds charity.
Announced last week as the latest event booked in for the year-long celebration bringing people back to Ireland, our joint Gathering with LIHH will bring members of the Irish community in Leeds, who would otherwise be unable to make the trip, home.
For many it will be the first time they have stepped foot in Ireland for many years.
The event also provides a showcase for the best of the third sector organisations serving the most vulnerable Irish in Britain.
Leeds Irish Health and Homes, which organises an annual trip for clients to return to Ireland, has been serving the health, housing and social care needs of the Irish in the city, many of whom hailed from Co. Mayo, since 1996.
With eight clients – ranging in age from 40 to 80 – signed up for the Ballina trip, and plans in place to make their journey an extra special Irish Post sponsored Gathering celebration, the people of Mayo are ready and awaiting our arrival.
Dozens of Mayo civic, business and community representatives have already sent excited messages to the team at LIHH, as they prepare a special welcome for the charity’s delegation.
The trip will take place in and around Ballina from September 16 - 20, with the group based at the Ballina Manor Hotel.
A reception at Ballina Civic Offices will kick off the week of activities and officially recognise the arrival of the group.
Then a packed diary will bring the Leeds and Irish Post visitors out to see the best of Ballina – from salmon fishing with Irish Fisheries, to guided walks provided by Sláinte Ireland Tours and a special lunch planned with the local Moy Valley Over 55 group.
This week the LIHH clients already signed up for the Mayo holiday met at the charity’s offices to prepare for the Gathering trip where they were joined by The Irish Post.
Keep reading The Irish Post for an introduction to those taking the trip, more news of what’s taking place and full coverage of the event.