From the moment the Kilkenny Gospel Choir started to sing at the Slate Quarries, Windgap on Friday night, everyone knew something special was happening. Windgap was turned into a wonderful, whimsical, warm waftery of camaraderie and celebration.
The final event of The Gathering weekend came when 250 red and white, (the parish colours) helium filled balloons were released at the pond carrying the hopes and prayers of local people.
It was a fitting and uplifting end to a weekend when the hurling pitch was filled like it had not been for many years; when stalls did a thriving business and as local man, Jimmy Walsh, the Kilkenny People’s correspondent said: “No words will ever describe the outstanding success of an event built around a single word such as the Gathering. Closely related to the old Irish world “Meitheal” it brought the best out in the community as they celebrated their people and place over a weekend that was akin to three successive Bank Holidays.”
For many Mass in the Grotto on Sunday morning was the highlight with Fr Nicholas Flavin as celebrant and for others in the hall while dancing the night away to the sound of Pat Hayes in the hall.
An exhibition of old photos from around the parish went down great and for many the entire event was a walk down memory lane as Windgap exiles from around the country came to celebrate with their own people, epitomising what The Gathering is all about, bringing people together.