Cllr. Barbara Murray, County Mayor and Cllr. John Buttimer, Lord Mayor of Cork, were joined at today’s official launch event by a host of celebrities with a proud Cork heritage. Cork Gathering Ambassador and the doyenne of Ballymaloe, Darina Allen; the Queen of England’s favourite fishmonger, Pat O’Connell; legendary Cork GAA star, Seán Óg Ó hAilpín; the first and only person to complete the Oceans7 Challenge, Stephen Redmond; and Cork’s current Rose of Tralee, Bríd Ryan, all joined in the fun whilst the melodic tones of Co. Cork soprano, Karen Long played.

The focus of the Irish Gathering in Cork during its comprehensive 12-month calendar of activities is ‘Rebel Week’, which was unveiled as a group of drummers led the celebrities through the Arrivals doors at Cork Airport to great fanfare this morning. This focal point of The Cork Gathering will showcase a week-long series of specially commissioned events running from October 14th-20th 2013. Among the diverse events scheduled for ‘Rebel Week’ include a commemoration of the birth of revolutionary leader and Cork’s first son, Michael Collins, on October 16th; a Cork Global Economic Forum; and a unique and novel ‘Cork Passport’ scheme where those wishing to get their hands on this coveted document must be willing to prove their Cork credentials.

Speaking at the launch, official Gathering Ambassador, Darina Allen, was clearly delighted to be involved in planning next year’s high profile events. “Looking at the schedule of events for next year, it’s going to be a fantastic opportunity to welcome friends, family and international visitors to the Rebel County. Although not born and bred in Cork myself, I consider myself an adopted daughter of this proud county and am honoured and humbled to have been chosen as an Ambassador for the Gathering Cork 2013”.

Commenting on The Gathering’s ‘Rebel Week’, Padraic O’Kane, CEO of (event promoters of ‘Rebel Week’) said “Rebel Week seeks to embody the spirit of The Gathering in an engaging and, above all, lasting way. We are striving to ensure that through its activities, the week becomes a catalyst for Cork’s economic rejuvenation in the short and longer-term. With a target of attracting 5,000 international visitors, the week is geared towards fostering a sense of inclusivity and ‘family’ among citizens, businesses and all sectors of Cork society that translates into civic and commercial renewal.”

For more information, or to apply for a Rebel Passport, visit