Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Gabriel Byrne slams "The Gathering 2013" scam

Some of you may have heard about "The Gathering"

It is a  Father Ted-esqe ruse planned by the Irish government and Tourism Ireland to attract gullible idiots to our bankrupt hell-hole in 2013.

Exploiting the "Irish diaspora" and all that. 

"Exploiting" is right, even after the poor bastards, or their parents and grandparents, made the wise decision to get out of the kip way back when.    
If they do actually come here, maybe they deserve to get ripped off? And, sure as shite, they will.

"Actors are the only honest hypocrites" said William Hazlitt. 

In a country that produces hypocrites by default, it's refreshing to see the following quote from an actor, Gabriel Byrne, on "The Gathering 2013"... 

Nice to see a bit of rare honesty.

Gabriel Byrne slams The Gathering

Irish Times, Mon, Nov 05, 2012

The Irish actor Gabriel Byrne has dismissed the Gathering 2013 initiative as "a scam."
Byrne, who previously served as the cultural ambassador for Ireland in the US, said many who left Ireland for the US feel abandoned by the Government - and that the bridge between Ireland and its diaspora is broken.

He also said Irish-Americans are not receptive to being "shaken down" for money.

The Gathering is a tourism initiative to entice people with Irish connections to visit the country during 2013.

Speaking on The Last Word on Today FM today, which was broadcast from New York, Byrne said the Taoiseach’s speech launching The Gathering was "slightly offensive."

"People are sick to death of being asked to help out in what they regard as a scam," he said

"I wish The Gathering the very best of luck but they have to understand that the bridge between the diaspora and the people is broken and I tried to fix that for two years and it’s still broken.... Most people don’t give a shit about the diaspora [in Ireland] except to shake them down for a few quid."

"The diaspora has a very powerful spiritual connection to the island of Ireland. I remember when I was growing up in Dublin those buses would pull up and those people in Burberry coats would be laughed at because they’d say 'here come the Yanks looking for their roots.' Well, as far as I’m concerned one of the most sacred things you can do is look for your roots."

"The other day I was talking to a group of people. One of them was an illegal immigrant. His father died, he couldn’t get home. He feels abandoned by the Irish Government. He feels an alien. He can’t go back. Then I talked to two kids, a girl and a boy who were forced to emigrate because there are no jobs. And they blame the incompetence and the gangsterism of the Government for being forced to emigrate.‘

Byrne stepped down as Ireland’s cultural ambassador at the end of last year.

"It was a tremendous achievement what we did in two years. I was really disappointed the way all those contacts, all that hard work was just dropped and it really made me disillusioned and disappointed with this Government who go on about their love for culture for arts and actually really don’t give a toss about it."

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Bambooboy said...

That's it - i have a lazy ten grand in my back pocket so it's off down to the South Hobart Irish Travel Enterprise with me for to book me flight back to my beloved ex country. They're chucking in a free shillelagh too for the lucky first million takers so i'd better brostai orm. But ah jayzus this isn't fair - amn't i just now after seeing an ad from the local bambooist and isn't he just after getting in a new batch of slivers for both hands and feet for the same price. Choices choices - looks like the auld sod will have to go on hold. PB

The Gombeen Man said...

That's some needy Irish hoteliers, publicans and shopkeepers down a much-needed 10 grand, Bambooboy.

And all they want to do is "gather" some wonga to celebrate Irishness and the diaspora and all that, patriots that they are.

Jim Spriggs said...

What a topping idea "The Gathering" is. I hope it's still in action in a few years time when my kids will undoubtedly have to emigrate. It will be a nice excuse to come back to the auld sod and celebrate the wonder that is our wonderful little nation.

anna said...

well said Gabriel Byrne- thanks for saying what we are all Really thinking- and someone who is probably the best known Irish actor in the States

Dakota said...

Got to give it to the Government, they have a sense of humour afterall. Kick half a million out, expect """MILLIONS""" in WONGA and PEPS in from the very same DIASPORA. Then SHAFT THE BEJESUS OUT OF THEM when they least expect it. All while keeping a straight face. Inspirational, and seriously funny. They'd only get away with in Oireland. Cheese anyone?

...I've a GOOD IDEA GM sack the Government and Civil Service and just invite the IMF to rule the BOG? Tell Paddy and Mary they can catch it all on TV. It has the makings of a CLASSIC.

Ella said...

Tourism Ireland (does Bord Failte no longer exist? or do they belatedly realise that no potential tourist would understand the term?) involved, why bother it's just a money making racket and what we offer here is an inferior product to other destinations - krap weather, some rude taxi drivers (thinking of 2 I've used of late here) choice mmm well there is plenty of that if you have very deep pockets... value for money... any of the other euroland countries I've visited are considerably less expensive than here.... don't even get me started on the skanger nation we appear to have become... well said Gabriel and ta for report GM.

The Gombeen Man said...

Good points, folks.

It's just good to see someone telling it like it is, for a change, isn't it?

Too many of our "public figures" indulge the Irish weakness for self-deception. Gabriel is one of the very few exceptions, I'll wager.

Ivan Lennon said...


e.g., A kip
Bankrupt hell hole
Gullible idiots

Wilde and Dean Swift would be proud!!

Greatest move we ever made leaving after "The Emergency"


Anonymous said...

It never ceases to amaze me how many Irish people speak of American visitors in a borderline hostile and disrespectful way. Many American visitors are naive about Ireland and the Irish but the sneering approach is out of order as they mean well and many are looking to see where their families originated from.

These same Paddys would be the first to scream the house down about "anti-Irish racism" if it was the other way round.

I hope the Irish American tourists wise up to the scam that is tourism in Ireland; an over-hyped (by the Irish) destination, where you get rained on, whilst trying to figure out what the hell there is to do; all whilst paying a fortune for the "privilege."