This is the year, as we know, of 'The Gathering'. And lots of people have flown in, and lots of 'Gatherings' have already taken place - and many more will happen before the end of 2013.
But, in the main, they are Gatherings of 'humans'!
Well we were amused, and bemused, when we got an e-mail into us telling us about 'The Gathering of Stones'!
And we learned that American stones would be flying in to take part – all the way from Ellis Island! So, intrigued, we sent Mooney reporter Katriona McFadden along to find out more...
The story starts with the DryStone Wall Association of Ireland. They are a group of stonemasons who like to build walls with no lime, no mortar, nothing holding the stones together – except each other. And they like to promote this craft and preserve existing dry stone walls.
They decided to take their favourite things, stones, and make a Gathering of the Stones event where 80 stonemasons will come together over a weekend in June in Lough Boora - between Birr and Tullamore - to show off their work, build beautiful stone installations. They want people to bring along a stone to be incorporated into these creations. There will be about 300 tonnes of stone used over the weekend, mostly all donated but they do need help with haulage so if there any hauliers out there who would like to help with a good cause please email us to firstname.lastname@example.org – and we’ll pass it on.
So word got out and a Scottish-Canadian stonemason, Bobby Watt, heard about it and told them that ten years ago, he worked lifting the pavement stones from the docks near Battery Park in Ellis Island, New York - the very pavement stones that Irish emigrants would have walked over on their arrival to America all those years ago. And he offered them to the Dry Stone Wall Association, who said 'yes please!
Those stones arrived into Dublin this morning, and Katriona McFadden went along to find out more...
The crate containing the Emigrant Stones arrives into Dublin this morning
The Gathering of Stones takes place in Lough Boora Parklands in County Offaly from June 20th to 23rd. For more information, visit http://dswaireland.ning.com/page/the-gathering-of-stones.