Rain pours down bringing a damp start to a new festival aimed at attracting new tourists to Ireland

The opening ceremony of the National Homecoming Festival in Cork was slightly marred as a result of bad weather with only one clan banner to be seen in the opening parade.

The aim of the homecoming festival was to extend the tourist season and draw ten thousand new visitors to Ireland but heavy rain lashed down on the opening parade.

A few hundred people braved the bad weather to witness the Lord Mayor of Cork Micheál Martin and the Deputy Mayor of Derry Annie Courtney jointly light the Welcome Home Candle to open the festival. Mr Martin said that he hoped that some of the seventy million people of Irish descent around the world would return to Ireland. Onlookers watched as the Homecoming flag was hoisted. 

This was the first of 140 nationwide events to take place throughout the month of September with sixty-four clan rallies scheduled. 150 of Ireland's Gaelic families have registered with the Clans of Ireland organisation. 

The National Homecoming Festival is a joint initiative between Bord Fáilte and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 1 September 1992. The reporter is Tom McSweeney.