17. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide a detailed breakdown of the way the €7million allocated for the Gathering in the 2012 Budget will be spent; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57262/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Michael Ring) (Deputy Michael Ring): This question relates to the funding allocated to Fáilte Ireland to enable it to deliver The Gathering Ireland 2013 initiative.

A total of €7 million has been allocated from within the 2013 budget of the Department to support the Gathering. The funding will be utilised in supporting festivals and events that are being staged as part of the Gathering; engaging with communities to ensure gatherings and initiatives come to fruition successfully; international and domestic marketing of the Gathering; digital and online promotion and work to maximise the long-term legacy of the initiative and to measure its economic impact and effectiveness.

The individual amounts to be allocated to these aspects of the initiative are an operational matter for Fáilte Ireland. I have referred the matter to Fáilte Ireland for further information to be provided to the Deputy.  Please contact Minister Varadkar’s private office if a reply is not received within ten working days.

As the 1st January draws closer, I am confident that the Gathering will be very successful in inspiring overseas visitors to come to Ireland next year. Starting with the New Year’s Eve celebrations in Dublin all the arrangements are coming together to ensure a memorable year for Irish tourism.