Kildare children to mark St Brigid’s Day at Áras an Uachtaráin

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Paula Campbell

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Paula Campbell

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paula@leinsterleader.ie

Kildare children to mark St Brigid’s Day at Áras an Uachtaráin

Sixth-class students Sophie Hannon (12) and Oisín Lee (12) of St Brigid’s Primary School, Kildare Town who will make and present St Brigid’s crosses to President Michael D Higgins during their trip

Three children from Kildare town will travel to Áras an Uachtaráin tomorrow, Thursday January 31, as the county prepares to celebrate St Brigid’s Day.

Emma Bergin, Sophie Hannon and Oisín Lee will present St Brigid’s crosses to President Michael D Higgins on St Brigid’s Eve to mark the start of a week-long programme of activities commemorating the life of the Kildare native and Ireland’s female patron saint.

All are pupils of St Brigid’s Primary School, Kildare Town and will be accompanied by the Mayor of Kildare Cllr Seán Power, the Chief Executive of Kildare County Council Peter Carey, the Chairperson of Kildare Fáilte David Mongey, the CEO of Kildare Fáilte Aine Mangan and Sr Rita Minehan of the Solas Bhride Centre, Kildare Town.

The children will make and present the crosses during their trip to the Áras, to mark St Brigid's Day which takes place on Friday February 1.

“St Brigid has a long association with Kildare and is also the Patroness of our Country. For centuries it has been customary on the eve of our feast day for Irish people to fashion a St Brigid’s cross of straw or rushes and place it in their house over a door to protect their home,” said Mr Mongey.

“St Brigid’s spirit of hospitality is legendary. She challenges both men and women today to create a society where both are equally respected. Her legacy has endured and her life still speaks to us in the 21st century.

“She continues to be remembered as an extraordinary women of faith and occupies an important place in the hearts of the people of Ireland and far beyond.”

The event is described as a terrific opportunity to take pride in the county and celebrate the role St Brigid and the Solas Bhride Centre play in attracting visitors to Kildare, according to Aine Mangan.

“The very special legacy of St Brigid is a key part of the promotion of Kildare as a visitor destination," she said.

“We are very grateful to President Higgins for inviting us to celebrate the feast of St Brigid with him.

“St Brigid’s Day and Féile Bríde will be a celebration of the spirit of County Kildare and life of our revered saint.”

The commitment of St Brigid to justice and peace will be marked during Féile Bríde 2019 which takes place from tomorrow (Thursday) to Saturday, February 9 at a number of venues in Kildare Town.

The Solas Bhríde Centre at Tully Road, Kildare Heritage Centre and Boyle’s Pub at the Market Square, Kildare Education Centre at Friary Road and the Town Library at Claregate Street will all host events celebrating her life.

These will include a concert, The Music of Spring featuring tenor Patrick Hyland and guests at the Solas Bhríde Centre on Sunday, February 3 at 8.0 and a conference on justice and peace organised by Irish campaign group, Afri at Solas Bhride on Saturday, February 9 from 10-4.30.