Posted on

Commemorative events are taking place around the country today

Commemorative events are taking place around the country today

COMMEMORATIVE EVENTS IN remembrance of people who lost their lives during the Covid-19 pandemic will take place around the country today.

The day of remembrance and recognition will honour the some 6,600 people who have died with Covid as well as workers, volunteers, and the general public for their efforts over the past two years.

Globally, Covid-19 has killed over six million people since the outbreak of the virus in December 2019.

Taking into account excess mortality linked to Covid, the World Health Organisation estimates the true death toll could be two to three times higher than official records suggest.

In Dublin‘s Merrion Square Park, a commemorative ceremony will take place at 2pm followed by performances from poets such as Paula Meehan and Theo Dorgan.

Meehan will read The Light Returning, a poem written out of the darkness of the Covid years as a gesture of hope and resilience, while Dorgan will read his translation of the poem into Irish, An Solas ag Filleadh.

There will be additional performances from Uilleann piper Fiadh Fitzpatrick and the Continuum Youth Choir, with participation from Dublin Civil Defence and Dublin Fire Brigade.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Alison Gilliland said all are welcome to attend and “share in this collective moment of remembrance and reflection”.

“After a challenging two years and countless hardships faced, this event is an opportunity for the people of Dublin to come together and remember those we lost and to recognise those who guided us through the pandemic,” said Gilliand.

The ceremony, which should last about 40 minutes, will take place close to the South East Entrance of Merrion Square Park.

In Kildare, members of frontline services will take part in a special wreath-laying ceremony in the courtyard of Áras Chill Dara from 12pm.

Poet Dr Mary O’Donnell will read from her work reflecting over the last two years, and there will also be special musical performances by local musicians and performers.

The ceremony in Kilkenny will be held at the Bandstand, Canal Square at 3pm. Lead by councillor Fidelis Doherty, the ceremony will include performances from the Kilkenny Gospel Choir and will feature contributions from the clergy, and representatives from the HSE, Gardaí, and Fire Services.

For those in Co Laois, all are welcome to attend Fitzmaurice Place, Portlaoise from 5pm. The council said locals can expect poetry reading and music following a wreath-laying ceremony.

In Mayo, all are welcome to gather at the Mall Castlebar from 5pm to pay their respects.

Meanwhile, in Co Meath, a ceremony will take place in Buvinda House, Navan at 11am.

The council said: “Key elements of the event will include a formal wreath-laying ceremony, suitable poetry, readings and musical elements, with participation reflecting the diversity of the community.”

Tipperary County Council will hold a local ceremony in Holycross Park at 2pm. This event will also be live-streamed through council’s social media channels.

#Open journalism

No news is bad news
Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue
to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

On Thursday in Cork, the local authority held a remembrance ceremony at Guagán Barra.

Speaking after the event, Mayor of County Cork Gillian Coughlan said that while Covid-19 hasn’t gone away “we hope that the end is in sight”.

“Everyone struggled, many suffered, and some were tragically lost. This ceremony was a way for us to take time to pause, reflect on the past two years and remember all those who lost their lives since March of 2020. We couldn’t have our usual traditions and rituals which meant saying goodbye was even harder,” said Coulghan.

Our world became even smaller as some families faced the heartbreaking decision of having to select just ten mourners. However, communities rallied and paid their respects in other ways by lining the streets and joining services online. We supported our neighbours and as time passed, we all found within ourselves a bravery that we never realised we had….I believe that our communities will emerge stronger from all that we have experienced over the last two years.

During his St Patrick’s Day message, President Micheal D Higgins paid tribute to all those who lost their lives and to all the frontline workers across society.

Higgins said it was important that a deep sacrifice was paid by so many “and for whom the healing is hard to count”.

“We were reminded, as they spoke of their loss, time and again, that the warmth, awareness and cohesion of community remains an essential component of human life, that collective and public spirited human interaction are the essential elements that bind our communities together and form the essence of any true republic we may wish to achieve, now or in the future.”

Orla Keegan, the head of Education and Bereavement at the Irish Hospice Foundation, previously told The Journal that its bereavement helpline had received hundreds of calls when it was first set up in 2020.

Jonathan Stafford, Managing Director of Staffords Funeral Homes in Dublin, said funerals services were “just as difficult” if not harder for loved ones during the restrictions due to the limits on the number of mourners.

At times, only ten people were allowed to attend funeral services under Level 5 restrictions.