25 Sept 2022

Poignant ceremony to remember Kildare people lost to Covid-19 held in Naas

Kildare County Council remembrance event

Poignant ceremony to remember Kildare people lost to Covid-19 held in Naas

The remembrance event held at Áras Chill Dara on Sunday

A ceremony of remembrance and reflection honouring those who lost their lives to Covid-19 was held at Kildare County Council's Áras Chill Dara headquarters in Naas on Sunday afternoon.

Tribute was also paid to the collective efforts and response of frontline workers, businesses, citizens and communities of Kildare over the past two years. 

A heart-warming musical performance of Blackbird’s Lament performed by musicians and health specialists Sharon Murphy and Sadhbh O’Sullivan, joined on violin by Sharon’s daughter Anna Sweeney, set the tone for the ceremony, providing an opportunity to pause and reflect.  

Community heroes, Garda Gary Cogan, ‘Covid Notebook’ participant Tricia Dunne, Postman John Doyle, Covid testing centre volunteer Sheila O’Connor and Scouting Ireland member Katie O’Neil, representing just some of the many frontline workers from across Kildare, were joined by local councillors for a special wreath laying ceremony. This was accompanied by a special performance of The Parting Glass on uilleann pipes by renowned musician, Brian Hughes.

The ceremony was brought to a close with a literary reading from poet, short story writer and novelist, Dr Mary O’Donnell who read from her own work, entitled It’s Intimate Future, which was written during the pandemic, anticipating a time when we would all be living more safely again.

Sadhbh O’Sullivan, Anna Sweeney and Sharon Murphy perform The Blackbird's Lament

Speaking at the ceremony, Annette Aspell, director of services for Kildare County Council, said: “Today is an opportunity for us to gather and in our own way, thank everyone who played a part in the collective effort throughout the pandemic.  The empathy, solidarity, goodwill and resilience of people, communities and businesses that emerged was phenomenal.  Local services and supports became more vital than ever during these times, and the agility shown to adapt and continue to provide vital services and supports cannot be underestimated."

Councillor Seamie Moore said: “Today’s event provides us with an opportunity to come together, to pause and reflect, take time to remember all those who have lost their lives during the pandemic, and pay tribute to everyone who has contributed to how we have faced and are facing the challenges together.”

The Covid Hero Portraits were on display at the event including portraits of local everyday heroes in Kildare who were nominated by their community in 2020 for this project. Their portraits were painted by local artists and the artworks are now part of Kildare County Council’s Municipal Art Collection.

In the summer of 2020 as the country was in full lockdown, Kildare County Council invited citizens from the county to get involved with the Kildare Covid Diary project, to map their Covid journey in a notebook, or simply to use the notebook to bring focus to their day. Some 70 notebooks were returned to the Council to create an important digital archive for the county. David C Lynch was commissioned to create a film with seven of the older participants in the project, which was screened in the Council Chamber after the ceremony.

WATCH: Kildare's 'The Covid Diaries' film, directed by David C Lynch

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