Kare celebrated our strong Kildare heritage yesterday with many different activities for the feast of St Brigid.
St. Brigid is the patron saint of Co Kildare and also thought to be the second patron saint of Ireland. On 1 February each year, she is celebrated for her religious devotion, compassion and generosity and also for her contributions to education, charity and the arts. People traditionally weave St. Brigid's crosses from rushes, symbolizing protection and good fortune for households. As 2024 marks 1,500 years since Brigid's death, a whole festival of events and celebrations, called 'Brigid1500', has been created to honour the life and legacy of this much revered saint.
This special occasion was marked by Kare in many ways yesterday, particularly by those in our Kildare Town services, where St Brigid's Cathedral is located.
The day started brightly with an accessible walk to St Brigid's Well. Another of the morning's highlights was a cross weaving workshop in the Solas Bhride Centre. This inclusive and collaborative event was attended by Susan O'Toole, Lily Wright, Leonard Kennedy, David O'Grady, Amanda McGuire and Pat McMahon, and was also an opportunity for the group to 'Pause for Peace'. The hands-on and creative activity combined nature, fine motor skills and mindful weaving.
In the afternoon a group from Kare joined over 3,500 local students to take part in a human St Brigid's cross formation at the Curragh Racecourse. At this lively event Dylan Hanley. Orla Daffy, Jeff Doyle, Leonard Kennedy and Cathal Timoney had the opportunity to meet Minister for Education Norma Foley and Bishop Denis Nulty, followed by a cold but beautiful walk to form the cross shape. The giant formation which was captured by drone and featured on RTE's Six One News, is believed to be a world record for the most people coming together to make a living St Brigid's Cross.
The day was a celebration of the power and importance of community involvement, with each of the activities sharing the same strong commitment to inclusion and accessibility for all. The occasion was well aligned with the first day of Kare's My Emotions (ME) Month, as month-long programme of activities promoting physical and psychological wellness for Kare service users, staff and the wider community. For more information on ME Month, visit the Kare website.
Click below to see some more photos from yesterday's events. (Aerial photograph taken by Mark McGuire Photography.)
Lá Fhéile Bríde!