Ireland is calling on its sons and daughters to come for a visit.
You can almost hear your mammy piling on the guilt, can't you. Would you be coming home, so? That McGuire boy, he's coming home. If it's not too much trouble.
The Gathering has its own website, without an Irish mammy doing a voice-over, which would be more effective than any graphics or slide show could ever be.
For all of 2013, the island nation will host a variety of events that are intended to separate the tourist from his money, whether those dollars are U.S. or Australian. Tourism has fallen off of late, and the country is highly dependent on tourism as an industry.
Everything has fallen off, all over the world, but the fall was particularly hard for the Irish who didn't know what prosperity felt like until the Celtic Tiger changed the country. Losing it has proved to be a difficult time, and you've only to read some current Irish fiction to get a sense of how painful a lesson it's been.
Unemployment is up, reminiscent of the bad old days, and it seems that emigration is going up as well. More people are leaving, just like so many of us did back in the 1980's. And every decade preceding that one, going all the way back to the Famine years and before.
So to the 46,500 Irish men and women who left their homeland in search of work, come home for a visit. Join the descendants of the other millions who did the same.
Leo Varadkar admits that the Irish grew arrogant as they grew rich, thinking that they didn't need the tourists any longer. They didn't need to emigrate, either, but that's also a relic of the recent past. The tourism minister assures you diaspora members that those days are over. Everyone knows they're underwater financially, and you'll be welcomed back with open arms, some cead mile failte, and gratitude that you've shown up at all.
You'd make your mother very happy, you know. It's the least you could do. After all she's done for you.