35,000 American football fans to descend on Dublin for season kick-off

Thursday 30 August 2012 19.29
The US College Football 2012/2012 Season kicks off this weekend in Dublin
The US College Football 2012/2012 Season kicks off this weekend in Dublin

An estimated 35,000 American football fans are in Dublin this weekend for a high-profile game.

Saturday will see Notre Dame play the US Naval Academy in the Aviva Stadium, marking the start of the US College Football 2012/2012 Season.

The weekend will be a taster of the Department of Tourism's Diaspora homecoming in 2013.

The Gathering 2013 is a series of events due to take place across Ireland and designed to attract holidaymakers with Irish ancestral links as well as Irish emigrants.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny will welcome the travelling US fans at an evening of Irish/American entertainment and pep rally on Friday night at the O2.

Eimear Quinn, Damien Dempsey, Brian Kennedy and The High Kings are among those performing at The Gathering: Notre Dame - A Welcome Home.

The concert will be broadcast on RTÉ One Television, RTÉ Radio 1 Extra and RTÉ's official YouTube channel from 9.35pm on Friday, 31 August.

Proceeds from the concert will be divided between seven Dublin charities.

Other American football events take place on Friday afternoon with 12 US and Canadian High School Teams competing in the Global Ireland Football Tournament.