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Published on : Monday, February 18, 2013
The Clare Volunteer Centre, supported by the Gathering Clare Steering Committee, is inviting
people with the name Claire, Clair or Clare to travel to Ennis to participate in the potentially
record breaking feat on 23rd June.
The largest gathering of people with the same first name is 1,096 Mohammeds as part of the
Dubai Shopping Festival at Creek Park, Dubai, United Arab Emirates on 10 February 2005. The
previous record for a same-name gathering was created by 375 “Marias” in Spain in 2003.
The record breaking attempt forms part of the ‘Welcoming Claire to County Clare, Ireland’
project, one of the estimated 230 Gathering festivals and events taking place throughout County
Clare during 2013.
According to Sharon Meaney, Manager of the Clare Volunteer Centre: “This is a family event
where everyone from babies to grandparents is welcome to attend. You don’t have to be from
County Clare, you may not have even heard of County Clare but you will share a name that
is synonymous with being ‘clear, bright and famous’. What makes our event unique is that it
will be a gathering of people with the same name at the same time in a location of the same
name. We would ask people to bring proof of identity like a Driving Licence, Passport or birth
certificate which can prove their first name as Claire, Clair or Clare.”
Ms. Meaney said the same-name gathering will form part of a weekend of welcomes featuring
a free music event on the Friday 21 June in Ennis as part of the Love:Live Music event.
The weekend also will feature street entertainment on Saturday 22nd June and a special
edition ‘Welcome to Clare’ card which will offer special offers and discounts to various
attractions countywide for the weekend. Volunteers will be on hand on the streets of Ennis that
weekend to give out information and guidance to visitors.
Tracy Crawford of BallyO Promotions and Director of the new Ennis Roots Music weekend
added: “As it is the year of the Gathering, we are thrilled to extend the Love:Live event to
incorporate a weekend of events, of which ‘Welcoming Claire’s to County Clare’ will form part
of. We are all committed to getting the message out there, that if you want to visit Ireland, there
is no better place to come to than County Clare”.
A short film is being filmed & produced by Martin O’Malley of Malbay Studios featuring
volunteer and mother-of-three Claire Daly dancing in various locations around the Clare
showcasing what the County has to offer. Well-known Irish dancer Michael Donnellan is
providing Claire with dancing lessons to make sure she dances in tune, while Tess Purcell
of Style n’ Mind is providing style advice as well as bringing together Clare-based fashion
designers to dress Claire.
Commenting ahead of the video production and the same-name gathering on June 23, Claire
said: “I was approached by the Clare Volunteer Centre who explained what they were trying
to do in raising the profile of County Clare. I was a bit nervous at first, but they have gathered
together a team who are giving me a huge amount of confidence that this film is going to catch
people’s imaginations. Michael Donnellan has been fantastic at tailoring the dance steps to suit
me and hopefully this will be a dance that anyone can join in with”.
Filming will start in Shannon Airport and finish on the streets of Ennis taking in Killaloe,
the Cliffs of Moher, Loop Head and Moyasta.
Gathering Clare chairperson Gerard Dollard praised the Clare Volunteer Centre for its unique
and innovative approach to attracting visitors to County Clare.
He added: “We have seen a huge response from community groups and organisations throughout
County Clare to the Gathering Ireland initiative and we are confident that the County can now
boasts one of the most extensive and wide ranging programme of events and festivals for 2013.
We look forward to continuing our support for each of the events during the coming months and
want to acknowledge the strong volunteerism ethos and community spirit that prevails across
Some of the other highlights of the Gathering Clare 2013 include the Ennis Phoenix Twinning
25th Anniversary (15–22 Mar), Ennis Book Club Festival (1-3 Mar), Sets By The Sea in Spanish
Point (8-10 Mar), Gathering the Scattering in Ennis (4-6 Apr), Gathering of High Nelly Bikes
in Bunratty (27-28 Apr), The Burren Tolkien Symposium (9-16 May), Drumdigus National
School Reunion (31 May), Boston Meets Boston (1-2 Jun), Ennis Roots Weekend 21-23 (Jun),
Welcoming Clare’s/Claire’s to Clare in Ennis (23 Jun), Féile Chnoc na Gaoithe in Tulla (28-
30 Jun), Clarecastle Village Gathering 2013 (12-22 Jul), Scattery Island Reunion (12–14 Jul),
Therapeutic effects of Irish Set Dancing in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease Conference in
Feakle (5-11 Aug), St. Patrick’s Comprehensive 30 Year School Reunion in Shannon (10 Aug),
Tulla Week Of Welcomes (17-25 Aug), Guinness Book of Records attempt for Largest Outdoor
Traditional Music Event in Kilfenora (22 Sep), and A Centenary of Conradh na Gaeilge Inis (18-
Tags: Gathering Ireland 2013