A WORLD record attempt will be held in Clarecastle this Friday at 7.30pm. As part of a major Gathering festival in the village, people are being urged to bring their hurley and ball to Clarecastle GAA pitch, where an attempt to set the world record for the most people controlling a sliotar on a hurley will be made.
Ian Dinan from the Clarecastle Gathering 2013 committee explained, “As in the case with so many parts of Clare, the GAA is a huge part of the life of our village. We are inviting all hurling supporters, whether they be five or 85 to join us in celebrating hurling and, at the same time, setting a world record.
“We wanted to come up with something a bit different and with this, it’s something my son and my father could do, everybody can get involved.”
Before the event, a parade marking the opening of the Gathering festival will take place through the village. Clubs and organisations in the village have been invited to take part and the parade will leave the church car park at 7pm.
The record attempt is just the start of more than a week of festivities taking place in Clarecastle. The Clarecastle Gathering will take place between Friday and July 21 as part of the Bórd Fáilte initiative.
Organisers are expecting people to return to Clarecastle from as far away as America. However, with plenty of events planned, the Gathering isn’t just for those with a connection to the village.
“As part of the Gathering, communities throughout Ireland are showcasing and sharing the very best of Irish culture, tradition, business, sport, fighting spirit and the uniquely Irish sense of fun and Clarecastle is playing its part.
“As well as providing a focus for those coming home from abroad, the aim of the Clarecastle Gathering 2013 organising committee is to provide an enjoyable festival for all.
“Our target is that everyone who visits and everyone in the village would participate in at least two activities during the course of the festival. With over 30 different events organised, this festival should have something for everyone,” said Mr Dinan. He pointed out that all of the activities are organised by volunteers and praised all those involved in supporting the event.
As well as events organised specifically to celebrate the Gathering, the festival will also incorporate the Clarecastle Regatta and the Céilí at the Crossroads.
Apart from these annually popular events, activities during the festival include a GAA fun day, concerts, treasure hunt, orienteering, heritage tours and exhibitions, workshops, teenage activities, golf classic and a variety of evening entertainment.
Highlights also include the Clarecastle Week of Welcomes, part of the Ireland Reaching Out programme. As part of this, the heritage group will be meeting with people who have travelled back to Clarecastle from abroad to find out more about their roots. Welcome packs are being made available to anyone who has travelled from abroad.
Sunday, July 21 will see the unveiling of a Famine memorial after midday mass. The memorial recognises all those from the Clarecastle area who suffered during the Famine.
The memorial will stand in the green in front of Church Drive. The festivities will conclude with a fireworks display at 9pm that evening.
For more information, check out Clarecastle Gathering 2013 on Facebook or www.clarecastlegathering2013.blogspot.ie.