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31.07.2020

Archbishop Jackson Joins Irish Muslims in Croke Park for Eid Al Adha

Archbishop Jackson Joins Irish Muslims in Croke Park for Eid Al Adha
Presentations to faith leaders during Eid Al Ahda at Croke Park. (Photo from RTE News Now)

Archbishop Michael Jackson was among the Abrahamic Faith leaders attending Eid Al Adha 2020 at Croke Park this morning, Friday July 31. He, along with Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and Rabbi Zalman Lent of the Dublin Hebrew Congregation brought greetings to Irish Muslims during the historic Eid Al Adha. President Michael D Higgins sent his greetings.

Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri of the Irish Muslim Peace & Integration Council led Eid prayers. He spoke of diversity, integration, love and peace and said the choice of Croke Park was symbolic to Irish Muslims in their 'dual-identity' as being both Irish and Muslim. He said while Covid-19 had had tragic consequences, it had brought blessings also. If it wasn’t for the pandemic they wouldn’t be gathering on this historic day together, he said.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, no more than 100 people can gather in Mosques so Eid Prayer was performed outside in Croke Park organised by the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council and the Islamic Centre of Ireland. Eid Al Adha is the festival of sacrifice which celebrates the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God.

Wishing all Muslims Eid Mubarak, Archbishop Jackson echoed the call to peace and harmony that is the lifeblood of faith itself and the calling of all faiths worldwide. He said that lockdown had meant a virtual Ramadan, virtual Passover and virtual Easter as people could not gather. However, he said, one of the outcomes of the pandemic had been kindness.

“Kindness is an act of every faithful person. The hospitality of humanity encompasses the person acknowledged, the goodness offered, the listening ear and the intuitive look. Many have died tragically, horribly and alone. Many have had no option but to let their home become a combination of office and school where privacy is eroded and boundaries dismantled. And yet many have learned that kindness is a boomerang of love and of hope,” the Archbishop said.

The full text of the Archbishop’s address is below.

Lorraine O’Connor of the Muslim Sisters of Eire joined Marty Morrissey on RTE News Now for the first ever live broadcast of Eid by RTE. You can watch that here


Short Reflection for EID in Croke Park July 31st 2020

The Most Reverend Dr Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin


Before I say any more, I should like to thank the Islamic Community, Shayk Umar al-Qadri, Croke Park and the GAA for inviting me to participate in Eid al Adha today. This is a truly historic occasion. I wish all Muslims: Eid Mubarak. I echo the call to peace and harmony that is the lifeblood of faith itself and the calling of all Faiths worldwide.

One day earlier this month, the electricity went off suddenly in my house. It was a short power outage in the locality. In the silence, I heard only the silence. And then suddenly I heard the humming of the fridge, the first sound of a revived electrical life. Our world today is rather like this: looking and listening for signs of life revived in challenging and challenged circumstances day in, day out.

We continue to live in a global pandemic that has affected us all and some much more tragically than others. For Faith traditions, as for everyone else in Ireland, The Lockdown left us in a position where we could not gather. In specific instances, this meant a virtual Ramadan, a virtual Passover and a virtual Easter. This was the sound of silence. It had many spin offs for communities and for individuals who are still in the process of working through the consequences and coming to terms with the old and the new expectations that now rub uneasily alongside each other in counterpoint more than in harmony.

What, we might rightly ask, were the sounds of life that crept into this silence? The greatest was undoubtedly neighbourliness. The unknown person next door became a neighbour. Care quickly began to go both ways. While many of us had been taught from our youth that it is more blessed to give than to receive, we all learned the positive lesson of humility and of Otherness to the effect that it is just as blessed to receive as to give.

The great word that the Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, put on the national kitchen table in the early days of the coronavirus was: kindness. This is, for us today, a fresh way to connect the future with the past. Kindness is a truth of every Faith. Kindness is an act of every faithful person. The hospitality of humanity encompasses the person acknowledged, the goodness offered, the listening ear and the intuitive look. Many have died tragically, horribly and alone. Many have had no option but to let their home become a combination of office and school where privacy is eroded and boundaries dismantled. And yet many have learned that kindness is a boomerang of love and of hope. We have all learned that our religious faith and our civic duty work together and need one another to make social sense. We have all learned that the phrase: ‘Catch you later …’ is not in fact a greeting. Time is in our hands. And now is the time of our faith if we are to build together a society where all are different and yet all are equal.