Bringing St Brigid to the Irish community


CELEBRATIONS in Scotland to mark the feast of St Brigid are set to continue in the face of the obstacle of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Traditionally a time for the Irish community to gather together to celebrate St Brigid, events in recent years (above) have grown to include the image of Irish women in the worlds of the arts, music, literature, culture and sport amongst others.

The Irish Consulate in Edinburgh has been to the fore of such celebrations, and this year—despite the restrictions preventing the full programme taking place—a range of events are set to make 2021’s feast a unique St Brigid’s Day.

Speaking of the desire to overcome the difficulties of the pandemic and host a fitting celebration, Ireland’s Consul General to Scotland, Jane McCulloch, identified the spirit of Brigid in Irish women today as being at the heart of the celebrations.

“Brigid is Ireland’s only female and native-born matron saint of Ireland,” she said. “She was known for her healing, poetry, arts and crafts, nurture and fertility. Her influence inspires courage and generosity and on her feast day we celebrate women who embody her creative, empowering and nurturing spirit.

“The Consulate General of Ireland in Edinburgh, along with Irish Embassies and Consulates worldwide, celebrate Brigid by hosting events with leading Irish female figures in the field of arts, sport, culture, academia, business, science and by sharing Brigid’s message of female empowerment, nurturing and creativity with communities around the world.

“Every year, around the time of her feast day, schoolchildren all over Ireland weave Brigid’s crosses, with the tradition of keeping them in the home for blessing and protection. This year, we hoped to visit the primary schools in Scotland named after Ireland’s matron saint, to hear about what Brigid means to them, and to share our Brigid celebrations.

“As circumstances did not allow for these visits this year, we look forward to them in 2022. To mark the occasion this year we shared books, written and illustrated by Irish authors— empowering tales and stories of inspirational and courageous Irish figures—for their school libraries.

“This year, we’re bringing Brigid home to you. The Consulate General of Ireland in Edinburgh, in partnership with the Scottish Government Office in Dublin, will celebrate St Brigid’s Day 2021 with poetry from Ireland and Scotland. This joint celebration of poetry will highlight the work of Scottish poet Iona Lee and Irish poet Julie Morrissey, in collaboration with the Scottish Poetry Library and Poetry Ireland.”

The events will take place in partnership with a variety of Irish organisations in Scotland, sharing St Brigid and the impact of women in the Irish community as we mark the changing seasons and celebrate the hope arrives with spring.

“Irish Community Organisations across Scotland, including Conradh na Gaeilge Glaschú, Causeway: Ireland Scotland Business Exchange, Little Ireland Arts Collective and Scotland GAA will also celebrate the spirit of Brigid in 2021,” the Consul said. “With Conradh na Gaeilge’s Cois Tine Fhéile Bhríde, Causeway’s Spring Forward Workshop and Scotland GAA’s spotlight on inspirational stories for young girls in sport, Brigid’s cloak is being spread further and wider in Scotland this year.”

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