Gabriel Byrne's Gathering Bashing "Good Publicity", Says Minister
Published on Sep 25 2013 9:51 AM in General Industry
The Minister for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring, has thanked Irish international movie star Gabriel Byrne for his widely reported criticism of The Gathering initiative, which he says was publicity the country could not have paid for.
Speaking at The Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum in Co Limerick yesterday, Michael Ring thanked all the "famous personalities" who knocked the initiative, which he insists has been a success.
Last year actor Byrne, who previously served as a cultural ambassador for Ireland, said many who left for the US feel abandoned by the Government.
The Dublin native said Irish Americans are not receptive to being "shaken down for money".
"People are sick to death of being asked to help out in what they regard as a scam," he said.
However The Irish Independent today reports that Minister Ring claimed the criticism helped attract world-wide publicity for The Gathering.
I thank (famous personalities) for their support as well," he said. "Because even though they were giving out about The Gathering they gave us the kind of publicity we couldn't pay for . . . and that was Gabriel Byrne and I want to thank him for his support in relation to that."