AS 2013 gets underway so too does The Gathering, the nationwide initiative to forge connections for the people of Ireland at home and abroad.
To celebrate the year and the nation anyone with links to Ireland or who simply has a love for the country is being encouraged to take a trip to the emerald isle and enjoy all it has to offer.
At present a total of 82 events have been registered to The Gathering's website, a figure which is growing by the week.
The Gathering has seen communities large and small brim with enthusiasm about hosting various events from sporting occasions to private family reunions and clan gatherings.
School reunions and ancestry events have also proved to be very popular and have seen quite an interest from interested visitors.
For many it will be the first time that they visit Irish shores, the home of their ancestors which makes it all the more special as The Gathering is inspiring reunions and journeys that would not have been conceived otherwise.
The Gathering was launched by the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Minister for Tourism in May 2012 and is being supported by Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland.
It promises to be the biggest tourism initiative ever staged in Ireland and is a welcome prospect given the currently economic difficulties experienced nationwide.
The initiative is depending on individuals and groups to make it work.
Interested parties are being encouraged to invite even one person that they know abroad who might relish a trip home to join in the celebrations.
Word of mouth has already attracted numerous visitors.
The initiative will bring together hundreds of festivals and events throughout Ireland that celebrate the best in Irish music, art, literature, dance, culture, heritage, sport, film and food.
It's early days and volunteers are still encouraged to participate in The Gathering and to get on board to organise and plan events.
Various community meetings have taken place in each county with members of The Gathering team where ideas have been discussed.
Each meeting has a steering committee formed by locals who aim to get ideas from the page to reality.
If you need help with your idea or want to get involved more, you can contact your own county co-ordinator who heads up your local steering committee the details of which can be sought from www.thegatheringireland.com