International Day of Peace celebrated in Tipperary Town
An event was held in St Mary’s Church Tipperary Town on Wednesday September 21st to mark International Day of Peace. The event included a series of reflections by invited guests, music and poetry. Celebrants included Rev Mike O Meara and Dean James Mulhall, Dean of Cashel.
The event was devised by Martin Quinn the main organiser of the Tipperary International Peace Award. The attendance included several Ambassadors to Ireland and Honorary Consuls. Cllr Roger Kennedy, Cathaoirleach of Tipperary County Council, Joe MacGrath, CEO Tipperary County Council and Mr Anthony Coleman, District Administrator also attended as did representatives of An Garda Siochana.
The event began with a moment of silence. Former Minister of State Dr Martin Mansergh also addressed the event. Dr. Mansergh who is the Vice-Chair of the Government’s Expert Advisory Group on the Decade of Centenaries in his reflection at the event said that disasters narrowly avoided in the past are just as capable of occurring in the future, if people become careless about their words and deeds. “A bitter 25-year conflict in Northern Ireland, which put peace across the island in danger was only brought to an end with a new and more comprehensive peace settlement including both constitutional parties as well as those who had backed paramilitary campaigns.
The Good Friday Agreement left the longer-term future open, but committed the parties to press ahead with meeting more immediate economic and social objectives that would improve people’s lives. Nearly 25 years on, the Agreement is still seen as fundamental, and, while it does not function perfectly or without interruption, it is vital to maintaining confidence in peace and stability and preventing any relapse into communal violence.
We should cherish all the progress that has been made and the improvement in relations across the island and be patient about longer-term constitutional change, for which conditions do not yet exist. Disasters narrowly avoided in the past are just as capable of occurring in the future, if people become careless about their words and deeds” said Dr. Mansergh. The theme of the day was ‘End Racism, Build Peace’ and this was a dominant theme throughout the proceedings in St. Mary’s Church of Ireland in Tipperary Town with contributions to the ceremony from the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mrs. Ijeoma Chinonyerem Obiezu; Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya, Mr. Michael K. Mubea; Ambassador of Colombia, Mrs. Patricia Cortés Ortiz and Ambassador of the State of Palestine, Dr Jilan Wahba Abdalmajid. There were musical performances by the Cahir to Sing Group, from Aoife O’Leary of Rockwell Music Academy and from singer/songwriter Nick McCarthy.
The event concluded with the laying of wreaths on the grave of Ellen O’Leary, in the adjoining cemetery. Ellen, a published poet, along with her brother John O’Leary, played a role in the Literary revival in Ireland. Ellen O’Leary was born in 1831 Tipperary town and died in 1889. She is interred in the cemetery adjoining St. Mary’s Church.