Into Kildare, the Kildare Tourism board led a delegation from County Kildare to Britain to promote the county in the UK on St. Brigid’s Day (1st Feb) and to connect with the Irish diaspora living in London. The delegation included David Mongey, the Chairman of Into Kildare, Áine Mangan, CEO of Into Kildare, Chloe Kimmins, Into Kildare and Alan Dunny, Director of Services at Kildare County Council.
The visit began with a service at St. Bride’s Church and the Irish chaplaincy in London, the church is known as the ‘journalist’s church’ and is based on Fleet Street. In 2023 Into Kildare presented a specially commissioned piece of art to the church which is proudly on display at St. Bride’s. This year, Into Kildare presented Lord Guy Black, the Master of the Guild of St. Bride with a handcrafted, Newbridge Silverware, St. Brigid’s cross lapel pin.
Later that afternoon the delegation went to a reception in the Palace of Westminster which was hosted by Conor McGinn MP and David Mongey where a moment’s silence was observed at 12.00 noon. The minute’s silence was part of the global Pause for Peace movement which is a collaboration with Into Kildare and Solas Bhride. David Mongey, Chairman of Into Kildare said, “Members of both Parliament and Lord’s where in attendance at the Palace of Westminster and they showed a keen interest in St. Brigid, particularly her life and legacy and truly appreciated her relevance to the world today. There is a mosaic of her along with St. Patrick and Columba in the main hall of Westminster and one member commented that she is the only woman who adorns the wall in the concourse of saints. It was just remarkable to see that,” he said.
David Mongey presented a hand-crafted St. Brigid’s Cross, created by Slane blacksmith, Tom King, to Conor McGinn MP to mark the occasion and so that the cross would be a reminder of those members of parliament who have died in the course of their service in recent times, particularly Jo Cox (2016) and David Amess (2021). Many of the members were very touched by the gesture and thanked the delegation for their thoughtful gesture and said it meant a lot to them.
The busy day concluded with a reception at the Irish Embassy in London where Áine Mangan, CEO of Into Kildare made a presentation to the high-profile audience about the life and legacy of St. Brigid. She also highlighted some of the key cultural and historical places of interest in the county and spoke about some of the key destinations and attractions in Kildare which visitors from the UK might like to experience. Into Kildare also sponsored a special prize on the night which was a VIP trip to County Kildare including flights, accommodation, and a host of unique Kildare experiences. For more see www.intokildare.ie