Rhode planning Parish Festival for The Gathering

Next year The Gathering is a year long celebration of all things great and unique about Offaly and our people.

Next year The Gathering is a year long celebration of all things great and unique about Offaly and our people.

It will offer the chance for those at home and abroad to join in, to reunite with friends, family and colleagues by attending gatherings and events organised by Community groups in Offaly.

In Rhode Parish on the May Bank Holiday weekend the parish will host a very special gathering festival weekend with events taking place for young and old and a chance to bring our family and friends overseas home on the very special occasion.

The Rhode Parish Gathering Festival Committee is formed and it will be represented by local groups, clubs, business and community people who will make every effort to make the Gathering and enjoyable weekend for our family and friend home and abroad.

Jody Gunning is the Chairperson and he is assisted by Irene Foy as the secretary. Peter Moore and Linda Smith are joint treasurers, while Niall Murphy takes up a position on PRO. There are a number of other committee members which include Fr. Corcoran, Gary Moore, Joe Masterson, Charles Malone, Sharon Gorman, Niall O Toole, Colm Killeen, Paul Stephenson, Maty Masterson, Olivia Hyland, Vinnie Grennan, Robert Kelleghan, Stephanie Heffernan, Mary Dillon and other people are still welcome to join. There will be a number of sub committees formed to look after individual events over the course of the weekend and in the planning stages.

In 2013, Rhode will celebrate 50 years since ESB and Siemens opened the world’s largest Peat burning station and although it is no longer there it will be a gathering of all people home and abroad who were connected with the ESB during its long spell of production in Rhode. A unique reunion for all thode connected with the ESB over the years is planned and it also marks 10 years since the two twin cooling towers were brought down in Rhode in 2003.

Also in 2013 Rhode GAA celebrate 125 years since the club was formed and it is quite fitting the Rhode last week picked up their 25th SFC title which they will take into next year’s year-long celebration.

Rhode GAA club are planning a walk from the Village to the new Parish Hall on Sunday May 5th at approximately 1pm as well as a whole series of GAA events over the course of the day finishing with a special game that Sunday evening to mark the 125 years. Fr. Corcoran too has outlined his plans to hold both cemetery masses in the church graveyards in Croghan on Saturday May 4th at 6pm and on Sunday May 5th in Rhode at 12 noon as this will give a great opportunity for all of our family and friends overseas to attend.

The beauty of Croghan Hill, the waterways along the canal, the Bord na Mona bogs and the warm community spirit within the parish will all be to the forefront of this very special gathering festival. Events such as School Olympics, Donkey Derby, Museum, music, dance, The Croghan Hill Challenge, story-telling, fishing, bog tours, Beat on the Street, 10k run, GAA games are just some of the events that will take place on this weekend. The Rhode Parish Gathering Festival are launch this Gathering festival weekend at all masses this weekend and again in Killeens Lounge on Saturday November 24th at 9pm.

Our Parish Gathering Festival is aimed at all age groups from toddlers to our senior citizens with events and entertainment and history bringing a source of vibrance to the community and the parish over the May Bank Holiday weekend. It will be cultural and a celebration of many things that reach a milestone next year.

The main message is to bring our friends and family home for this weekend and all of them will be invited before Christmas with the special designed parish Christmas cards to let them know about our weekend in 2013 so they have plenty of time to plan. These cards are also part of our launch today and are now on sale at €8 for a pack of 10. These cards will be on sale at local business in the parish or can be obtained from any member of the committee.

In the current climate all business nationwide have felt the hit from the down turn but this weekend will bring extra benefit to the economy for all our local business. All local business will also have an opportunity to advertise in our booklets or flyers and take part in our markets again to make people aware of what they do. They can also look at festival weekend promotions. It will also be a benefit for local clubs and organisations to showcase themselves and all funds or profits raised will also be donated back into the parish.

The Group is made up of volunteers who want to bring innovation to the parish and also give it a lift in these times.