‘We stand with you’ – First anniversary of war in Ukraine marked at Tiglin
A year after the start of the full scale invasion of Ukraine, people of Greystones gathered in solidarity with their Ukrainian friends at the Rise at Coolnagreina, Tiglin, on Friday February 24. They were joined by Archbishop Michael Jackson and Justice Minister Simon Harris who showed their support for those who had fled their own country and had been welcomed to the seaside town.
The event featured musical contributions from Ukraine and Ireland and sent a clear message that Ireland stands with Ukraine. Ukrainian guests of Tiglin, meanwhile called for peace and remembered the price of war in their country. In a symbol of their longing for peace, two children from Ukraine, assisted by Archbishop Jackson and Minister Harris, released doves. There was also a time of silence as all present marked the year at war. Pupils from St Patrick’s NS, which is attended by 19 Ukrainian children, read a poem to let their schoolmates know that their hearts were with them. The trees around the Rise were festooned with messages from the schools and community of Greystones in support of residents.
Welcoming the large crowd to The Rise, Tiglin chairman Aubrey McCarthy said they wanted to show support for their friends from Ukraine. “We want you to know that we stand with you and that we are there for you and you are welcome in Ireland,”he said. “Ireland is behind you and the world is behind you. Ukraine will be rebuilt and I look forward to you hosting us.”
Archbishop Jackson said that people across the world were standing with people of Ukraine on the first anniversary of all out war. “We stand in sadness and solidary with you. Your story, and those of your families, is a tragedy that is unimaginable to us. You have come to us in neighbourliness in a country you may never have meant to come to. I hope you have some sense of the welcome we offer and the opportunity you have given us to expand and enhance our own lives. Your children are part of our children’s lives thanks to the schools,” he stated. He also thanked Aubrey and Tiglin for the work they have done and the Minister and the Government for enabling Ireland’s response which has been sustained throughout the year.
The Rector of St Patrick’s Church, Greystones, Canon David Mungavin read a prayer before Tim from Ukraine reflected on his experience in Ireland and the war in his home country. He said that he welcomed the opportunity to improve his English, see another EU country and experience a new culture. He said Ukraine had been striving to join the EU and he asked how their neighbouring country could try to prevent this. “We are an independent country. We have already decided we are a European country. Our neighbour didn’t listen,” he said. He thanked the Government of Ireland and the principals of St Patrick’s NS and Temple Carrig School for their kindness.
Singing a song in Ukrainian called ‘Hug Me’, Yaroslav and Tatiana thanked the people of Greystones for their support.