Dolores’ mum, Eileen O’Riordan with Catherine McCormack Thurles and Mary Heaney at the event Picture: David Moloney
HUGE CROWDS turned up at Tipperary Racecourse on Sunday but there wasn’t one bet placed.
Men, women and children from all over Limerick and Tipp attended a family fun day organised by the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly. In accord with the theme “We are family – festival of fun”, the event was in preparation for the World Meeting of Families in Dublin next August.
One of the attendees was Eileen O’Riordan, from Ballybricken. She said “today was a difficult day” as she recalled the recent sad loss of her beautiful and iconic daughter, Dolores.
Shane Hogan, from nearby Knockainey, shared why he, his wife and family had come along.
“It was an invitation we just couldn’t refuse. Faith is upfront and central,” said Mr Hogan.
Just before 1pm a youth walk, led by Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly for the 16-year-olds and over to Tipperary Famine Graveyard headed off. Fr Enda, who prepared the walk, encouraged the young people to give thanks for their own families as well as the many and varied opportunities which they enjoy.
The exhibition hall gave a wonderful insight into the many and varied activities which provide an opportunity for parishioners of all ages to get involved and make a difference throughout the diocese. A highlight was the family art project. Children from every primary school in the archdiocese were invited to participate in this project and all of their work was on display.
Also, a selection of the artwork will be on display in the Cashel and Emly stand at the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) pastoral congress exhibition in the RDS, Dublin from August 22 to 24. Children’s activities included tag archery, face painting, bouncy castles, an obstacle course, a pet farm and the especially popular water zorbing
A central aspect of the day was the liturgy. It brought together all the themes of the day and in his address Archbishop O’Reilly spoke of the importance of coming together as an archdiocese to celebrate as “we look forward to the visit of Pope Francis in August”. Archbishop O’Reilly thanked all who had gathered and paid tribute to the great work being done throughout the archdiocese. In particular, he thanked the diocesan WMOF committee, who co-ordinated the entire event with the generous co-operation of Tipperary Racecourse.