HOPES for the arrival of Spring are closely associated with St Brigid’s Day and, in normal times, thousands would have made the pilgrimage last Monday to the saint’s well in Liscannor. This year, to mark the day and to celebrate the ancient festival of Imbolc, a virtual event is being hosted by the Irish peace and justice organisation Afri and will include two Clare-based contributors.
The virtual Féile Bríde takes place from 3-5pm next Saturday, February 6, and will feature a combination of inspirational talks, poetry and music, combined with the live-streaming of the annual tree planting ceremony.
Afri coordinator Joe Murray said he’s looking forward to the event and expecting several hundred attendees from throughout Ireland and abroad. “We’re surprised by the huge volume of registrations already this year,” he remarked. “It feels like people are particularly hungry for hope in these times and that is understandable given all that is going on in the world. February is a time of renewal for people and planet and Féile Bríde is a great opportunity to step back, reflect, and to refuel and uplift our spirits.”
The host for the event is Lahinch-based campaigner and Hitching for Hope author Ruairí McKiernan and he will be speaking on the theme of ‘new hope’. Other speakers and performers include Ennistymon poet Grace Wells, Sinéad Fortune from the Gaia Foundation in the UK, Karen Jeffares and Gareth Conlon from the Síolta Chroí nature education centre, musician Dee Armstrong from Kila, direct provision campaigner Sikhulekile Ruth Ndlovu, poet Pete Mullineaux, and musician RoJ Whelan. The Feíle Bríde online event is part of a week-long series of events organised by the Brigidine Sisters and Cáirde Bríde through the Solas Bhríde centre in Kildare.
Registration for Féile Bríde is free and information and booking is available at www.afri.ie.