Kildare village shows solidarity with fellow Europeans - and flags' photo goes viral!

Over 350,000 views on Twitter up to last week!

Rose B O'Donoghue

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Rose B O'Donoghue

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news@leinsterleader.ie

As we all adapt to the restrictions imposed in the fight against Covid-19, one man's simple gesture has caused huge excitement on social media across the world.

Christy Dennison, a well known photographer from Ballymore Eustace recently hung the Spanish and Italian flags along with the tri-colour at the Square centre piece in his native village.

For years, he has hung flags at the Square which is a focal point in the quiet Kildare village, flags representing all local, county, national and international events.

“It's 30 years since Italia '90 (FIFA world cup) and my wife and I have been regular visitors to Italy over the years, he told the Leinster Leader.

“There are several locals who travel to popular destinations such as Lake Garda, Lake Como and Verona which have been hit badly by the spread of the coronavirus.

"We have exchange students here every year from Spain – indeed, we were expecting them during the Easter break this year. We also have so many locals who travel locally to both countries so I thought it would be nice to show empathy and solidarity with the Spaniards and Italians during this awful time”.

It was Gill Murphy, PRO of Ballymore Eustace GFC who took a photo of the flags and shared it on social media and on the local club's GAA page. From there, the post went viral.

“When I saw the flags hung by Christy, I thought it was lovely that we had put up the Spanish and Italian flags alongside our own, to show our solidarity with our fellow Europeans. It was a striking reminder of how many countries across the world that CovID19 is effecting,” Gill said. 

“It's mad how much it took off. Last week, it had over 5,000 likes, 1,000 retweeted and when I last checked, it had been viewed on Twitter over 350,000 times!”

Most of the comments were from Spain now in the throes of lockdown.

From Sergio Cano Orihuelo:

“That touched my heart, lovely gesture indeed! Go raibh maith agat ón Spáinn!”

From Barbara Wood: “This is lovely, thank you from an Irish person in Madrid. Great solidarity and community spirit being shown all round. Gracias!”

From the Golden Pug (Spain): “Every thought is an encouragement to us in this moment of darkness.#Please stay at home and practise social distancing. I hope to visit your beautiful country when everything's over”.

Mike Burns from Spain wrote: “Thanks so much for this. Ever since I was an Erasmus student in UCD, I've been in love with your country. Gestures like this, in these nightmarish days, help to grow this feeling”.

A simple gesture that seems to have struck a chord with our fellow Europeans. Well done Christy and Gill!