Beannachtaí na Féil’ Pádraig/St Patrick’s Day Greetings

Beannachtaí na Féil’ Pádraig/St Patrick’s Day Greetings

March 16, 2014 Blog 0 Comments

Thosaigh céiliúradh ar Lá na Féil’ Pádraig go luath i mBéal Feirste i mbliana — Dé Sathairn, chuir mé fearadh na fáilte roimh Rith 2014 go dtí Halla na Cathrach is inniu bhí paráid iontach againn, is níl deireadh lenár rith go fóill!

Is ócáid bhríomhar í Rith, bunaithe ar an Korrika i dTír na mBascach, a chéiliúrann an Ghaeilge tríd rás urraithe ó cheann ceann na tíre. Rith mé an ciliméadar deiridh ó dheisceart na cathrach go dtí an Cruinneachán le baicle de dhíograiseoirí óga teanga as achan aird agus tá mé buíoch den PSNI as sinn a thionlacain isteach go lár na cathrach.

Agus inniu, bhí an chathair faoi bhrat ghlas nuair a thiontaigh na mílte amach ar na sráideanna do pharáid na Féile. Eagraíodh an pharáid ar an Domhnach seachas amárach mar ní lá saoire poiblí í Lá na Féil’ Pádraig ó Thuaidh, monuar. Ghlac 700 ógánach páirt sa pháráid i ngrúpaí siamsaíochta agus tháinig siad ó Bhóthar na Seanchille agus ó Bhóthar na bhFál, comhartha gur le gach duine i mBéal Feirste an lá náisiúnta. Is fearrde agus is láidre Béal Feirste nuair a eagraímid céiliúradh cuimsitheach ina mbíonn fáilte roimh an uile dhuine. Rinne muid amhlaidh inniu.

Amárach cuirfimid clabhsúr le Seachtain na Gaeilge le céiliúradh ollmhór i Halla na Cathrach ar phobal Gaeilge Bhéal Feirste. Bronnfar cúig theastas Ambasadóra ar laochra na hathbheochana ag an ócáid, tréaslaím leo uilig a ngradaim.

Inniu ar mo bhealach ar ais as an cheolchoirm i gCearnóg an Chustaim, stop mé tamall a dhéanamh mo  mhachnaimh ag píosa ealaíne a rinne Robert Ballagh thiar i 1976 mar chuimhneachán ar na daoine uilig a cailleadh sa choimhlint s’againn idir 1969 is 1976. Tíleanna beaga le huimhreacha atá ann, théann siad i bhfad. Táthar ann, ar an drochuair ar mhaith leo muid a tharraingt siar go dtí na blianta dorcha sin, ní éireoidh leo.

 

 

The crowds at Custom House Square
The crowds at Custom House Square

St Patrick’s Day celebrations started early in Belfast, on Saturday we welcomed the young runners of Rith 2014, the bi-annual sponsored run for the Irish language, to Belfast, while today we had a glorious parade. And we have more fun in store tomorrow, St Patrick’s Day.

Courtesy of a PSNI escort, I ran the last kilometre from south Belfast to the Dome of Delight. There we welcomed tired runners, some have been on their feet since the Rith started in Cork, and saw them off on their final leg.

And today, the city turned green (as has City Hall this weekend) as thousands turned out for our annual St Patrick’s Day parade. Unfortunately, the Saint’s Day isn’t a public holiday in the North so we decided to move the parade to the Sunday to allow as many people as possible (especially schoolchildren) from every part of the city join in the carnival. 700 young people took part in parade frolics and they came from both sides of the peace line, the Shankill and the Falls. Belfast is stronger and better for hosting parades in which everyone is welcome.

In Belfast in the St Patrick’s parade — and in so much else —  inclusion in the key, as we proved today when green was worn with pride to mark our National Feast Day.

Tomorrow, the St Patrick’s Day high-jinks continue in City Hall when we will bring the national Seachtain na Gaeilge to a close in City Hall with the biggest celebration of An Ghaeilge beneath the Dome in 20 years. We’ll mark the day by presenting Belfast Ambassador certificates to five heroes of the Irish language revival, all of them, as it happens, women!

When I first entered City Hall in 1987, there were no Irish language events in City Hall, no St Patrick’s Day parades and no PSNI. The city is stronger for having those changes.

Today, on my way back from the St Patrick’s Day concert in Custom House Square, I stopped for a moment at a moving piece of public art by Robert Ballagh dating back to 1976. It commemorates all those who died in our conflict from 1969-1976 and consists of numbered tiles; there are too many to count.

There are those who would have us dragged back to those dark days, they will not succeed.

Beannachtaí na Féile oraibh go léir/Have a wonderful St Patrick’s Day.

 

Robert Ballagh, our greatest artist, was commissioned to do this piece after 1,000 people had lost their lives. 
Robert Ballagh, our greatest artist, was commissioned to do this piece after 1,000 people had lost their lives. 


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Máirtín Ó Muilleoir

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir is the Sinn Féin MLA for South Belfast and a businessman.