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The Crawfords of County Clare and their relations are planning a special get-together next year as part of The Gathering Ireland 2013 initiative.

An organising committee is currently researching the Crawford ancestry in the County, tracing relations and descendants, making contacts and assessing personal interests in order to plan a suitable event next year.

The central theme of the event, in keeping with that of The Gathering nationally, will be the history and genealogy of the Clare Crawfords and their descendants.

Consideration is also being given to a Walk from Scotland and Northern Ireland to West Clare.

The Clan gathering event is being supported by The Gathering Clare Steering Group which is co-ordinating dozens of event ideas in preparation for the yearlong celebration, aimed at encouraging visitors of all nationalities to visit Clare in 2013.

The surname Crawford is now relatively rare in Clare, but was once much more numerous, particularly in the west of the county. The name originated in Scotland, from where many members of the Crawford clan emigrated to Ulster and settled there during the seventeenth century. Some of them later moved to Clare, where they were among the “Ultonians” of the Mount Callan area recorded by John Lloyd in his Tour of Clare in 1780.

According to event co-organiser, Mary Crawford: “It is hoped that the planned gathering of the Crawfords of Clare and their descendants will have a special appeal for members throughout Ireland and the extended Crawford Diaspora overseas. We also plan to launch a book on the History and Genealogy of the Crawfords of County Clare to mark the occasion. Clare being Clare, there will also be a strong social and cultural dimension, with traditional music, song and dance.”

A tentative date for the event is in June 2013, probably in the Miltown Malbay – Spanish Point area.

Gerard Dollard, Steering Group Chairperson, commented: “We are delighted to lend our support to this excellent Gathering event idea, one of many being developed throughout the County at present. We are continuing to focus on a number of headline events next year and the Steering Group is working through all the suggestions that have been received to date. Our key task is to mobilise and drive The Gathering throughout Clare by engaging, planning and coordinating community-based activity.”
“We believe that the Gathering Ireland 2013 initiative could attract at least 20,000 international visitors to County Clare, injecting up to 10 million euro into the local economy,” Mr. Dollard added.

In order to assess the level of interest in the proposed Crawford Clan gathering event and to ensure that it meets the needs and expectations of participants, the organisers want to hear from anyone interested, whether in Ireland or overseas. Contact Mary Crawford, info@sjspoint.com; + 353 (0)65 7084311; or www.thegatheringireland.com.