Students from 20 secondary schools in Co. Kildare, Carlow and Laois came together at the Curragh Racecourse on St. Brigid’s Day (1st of February) to form the shape of a ‘human St. Brigid’s Cross’. The 3,500 strong group gathered to celebrate St. Brigid’s Day and included 70, student ‘peace ambassadors’. The students were promoting a special ‘Pause for Peace’ movement which was a joint activation by Into Kildare, Solas Bhride and Kildare Town Community School. The group joined together to form the shape while the children in each ‘arm of the cross’ all held up different coloured cardboard to create a multicoloured effect. The fantastic spectacle was filmed by a drone which captured some amazing footage of the event. The gathering was led by John Hayes, Principal of Kildare Town Community School with assistance from his senior leadership team, Fiona Behan, Amanda Rice, Colm Hanratty and the staff at Kildare Town Community School. The Curragh Racecourse staff, the peace ambassadors from the schools, volunteers from all local clubs and community groups also assisted and took part. Special guests included the Cathaoirleach of County Kildare, Cllr. Daragh Fitzpatrick, Minister for Education and Skills Norma Foley, Bishop Denis Nulty, Bishop Pat Storey, Rev Alison Joyce, Rev Isobel Jackson, Cllr. Suzanne Doyle and TD Martin Heydon.
John Hayes said, “At Kildare Town Community School we always strive to be creative and innovative to promote and drive positive change in society and create leaders of the future. Our creative actions continue to inspire, promote collaboration, and connect with real world issues. This event gave many young people the opportunity to work in teams, share ideas and start to build a legacy around St. Brigid and her values of compassion, kindness, peace, and the environment. We are very proud of Kildare Town Community School who led the way in the formation of this living St. Brigid Cross which must be a world record!”
He went on to say, “The atmosphere at Champion’s Hall at the Curragh Racecourse was electric with a live concert of cultural music and recitals which really got the crowd going before they went outside to from the shape. Everyone from staff, students and volunteers were excited to be part of the momentous day. The students will remember this day forever! We are also grateful for the assistance and support of Kildare County Council and Brigid 1500, the Civil Defence, and the Gardai.”
Áine Mangan, CEO of Into Kildare congratulated everyone involved and said, “We were delighted to have been involved with the schools and the Pause for Peace movement which was a global call out from the people of Kildare to the world, to stop for a minute’s silence on St. Brigid’s Day. This year celebrates the 1500th year of the passing of St. Brigid and there has been a lot of cultural, spiritual, and historical events happening here in the county which promote the legacy of St. Brigid. We have no doubt that all these special events have helped to shine a light on the county and will help to promote County Kildare domestically and internationally.” For more information on into Kildare see www.intokildare.ie