-YOUNG PEOPLE OF COUNTY KILDARE TO ASK THE WORLD TO PAUSE FOR PEACE ON SAINT BRIGID’S DAY, FEBRUARY 1ST 2024-
13 secondary schools in County Kildare together with Into Kildare, the Tourism Board for County Kildare and Solas Bhríde Centre & Hermitages have joined forces and launched its second global ‘Pause for Peace’ movement. This extraordinary and powerful activation will take place on the 1st of February 2024, Saint Brigid’s Day when the young people of County Kildare will call on people all around the world to stop for a minute’s silence at 12.00 noon (local time) on the 1st of February 2024. The launch of the Pause for Peace movement took place in Solas Bhríde Centre & Hermitages before the students visited two well known County Kildare tourist attractions, Saint Brigid’s Well in Tully and The Curragh Racecourse. All the locations the students visited had a connection with the patron saint of Kildare, her holy well in Tully is a place where pilgrims visit and pray for their special intentions while Solas Bhride is a centre of spirituality and embodies the values of Brigid. Saint Brigid was given her lands at the Curragh from the King of Leinster to build her church; the king had told her she could have as much land as her cloak would cover and miraculously her cloak stretched and grew and covered all the plains. She built her first church at the edge of the Curragh plains under the shade of an oak tree.
John Hayes who is the Principal of Kildare Town Community School said, “Pause for Peace recognises the dreadful suffering and injustices that are happening all over the world and its objective is to ask people to stop and reflect on how they can promote peace in their own communities and in turn around the world. 70 ‘Peace Ambassadors’ have been selected from 13 different secondary schools located around Co. Kildare and the students are all highly motivated and excited to be involved. The role of the Peace Ambassadors is to promote and speak about the Pause for Peace movement and to be involved in various environmental, sustainable and climate change activations which reflect the cornerstone of the patron saint of County Kildare, Saint Brigid. A renowned peace maker the beloved saint is also known as a protector of nature and is associated with spring and new beginnings.”
The Peace Ambassadors are from Ardscoil na Trionoide, Athy, Clongowes Wood College, Clane, Patrician Secondary School, Newbridge, Cross and Passion College, Kilcullen, Scoil Mhuire Community School, Clane, Holy Family Secondary School, Newbridge, St. Wolstan’s Community School, Celbridge, Maynooth Post Primary School, Heywood Community School, Maynooth Community College, St. Paul’s Monasterevin, Newbridge College and Kildare Town Community School.
Between 3,500 and 4,000 secondary school students will create a ‘human Saint Brigid’s Cross’ formation on the Curragh Plains on the 1st of February. If successful, the formation will be a world record with the most amount of people coming together to make a living Saint Brigid’s Cross. The event will be captured from the air with a drone and can be watched on the Into Kildare social media channels.
CEO of Into Kildare, Áine Mangan said, “From last year Ireland celebrated a new annual national holiday in honour of Saint Brigid, one of the three patron saints of our country. This will be the second time for us to enjoy this bank holiday which takes place this year on the 5th of February. The Saint Brigid’s Day Public Holiday is hugely important not just for County Kildare, but for the whole country when we expect to see hundreds of thousands of visitors travel to Ireland to walk in her footsteps. Saint Brigid was a welcoming and hospitable figure and Into Kildare are delighted to be able to remember and to evoke the spirt of Brigid’s famous hospitality through our great tourism offering. There is massive interest in Brigid from a cultural, spiritual, and historical point of view. She isn’t solely a religious figure but is synonymous as a peacemaker and was in fact the first real climate activist as she was a protector and a custodian of the natural world.”
Sr. Rita Minehan of Solas Bhríde said, “This movement for a Pause for Peace reflects a spiritual underpinning to the day and is consonant with the value of peace which Brigid stood for in her time. By pausing for peace, we send out a message that we actively oppose warfare and the proliferation of arms, which wreak havoc on human beings as well as on the natural world. This movement aims to awaken and build a spirit of global solidarity in our search for peace.”
She continued, “We are delighted to have so many wonderful young people to assist us to share the message of peace. Young people have the power to reach out and to communicate with the world, they must become the custodians of our environment and of the natural world. Our youth are our future leaders, and we need to empower them to do good, to not allow injustice, to protect nature, and to be change makers. They are the leaders of tomorrow and their voices are the most powerful of them all.”
Sr. Rita explained that Pause for Peace asks people of all faiths and none to stop for a minute’s silence and send out peace from their hearts to the people of the world. She said the movement has been inspired by Saint Brigid whose legacy is most relevant in our war-torn world today. “Saint Brigid was renowned as a peace maker and one of the most popular stories associated with her is that of her giving away her father’s precious jewelled sword to a poor person so that he could barter it for food to feed his family. She was compassionate, a protector of the natural world and a formidable force for justice whose light shines ever more brightly today. From New Zealand to New York from Brisbane to Barcelona a minute’s silence for peace will take place all around the globe on the 1st of February and will form part of the rolling Pause for Peace movement.”
Áine Mangan said, “We are very excited about Pause for Peace, it’s great to collaborate and support Solas Bhríde, the schools and the young people of Kildare. Other activations and celebrations which are being led by Into Kildare include the lighting up of the Hill of Allen on the eve of Saint Brigid’s and a host of trade missions and communications with international embassies and government departments. Into Kildare are invited to a special service in St. Bride’s Church in Fleet Street in London on the 1st of February and later that evening we will celebrate and promote County Kildare at a special event at the Irish Embassy in London. Into Kildare, continues to work in association with Kildare County Council to deliver a comprehensive line up of special events to celebrate Brigid 1500 and a full programme of events will follow. We are also working alongside our partners and colleagues at Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland to promote Kildare and the Saint Brigid’s holiday all around the world.”
The Cathaoirleach of County Kildare, Cllr. Daragh Fitzpatrick said, “This is a momentous year for County Kildare, the Pause for Peace movement sets the scene for a year of joyous celebrations which will showcase all the fantastic historical and cultural experiences and attractions that Kildare has to offer. We look forward to welcoming our many friends both old and new to County Kildare over the public holiday weekend and I would like to thank all the schools, Into Kildare and Solas Bhríde for their great efforts.”
2024 marks the 1500th year of the passing of Saint Brigid, the patron Saint of Kildare and Ireland. ‘Brigid 1500’ is a festival which will take place in the spring of 2024 when several special cultural and spiritual events will take place throughout the county including concerts, talks, meditative and wellness events and historical and cultural events and talks. The Pause for Peace movement is one of these special events and celebrations which formally recognises the importance of Saint Brigid from a cultural, religious, spiritual, and historical point of view.
The Relics of Saint Brigid are also coming to Kildare Town on Sunday, 28th of January with a procession leaving Solas Bhride at 10.30am followed by maas at Kildare Parish Church. This momentous occasion will see the relics of the patron saint coming back to County Kildare for the first time in over 1,000 years.
Pause for Peace will be at 12.00 noon, Saint Brigid’s Day, 1st of February 2024. For more information on the various Brigid 1500 activities see www.intokildare.ie or visit www.solasbhride.ie where you will get more information on Feile Bhride, a week-long celebration of the legacy of Saint Brigid. #PauseForPeace. Insta @intokildare