Shamrock appeal to Wexford: 'We can do it'
Wexford is the setting for an exciting new approach to harness St Patrick's Day and the shamrock in the service of peace.
As part of the celebrations, funds will be raised to support practical projects in Ireland and overseas working to build peace and free our world from violence.
The idea is being piloted in Wexford this year and a country-wide launch is being planned for 2017.
Seven national schools and two secondary schools are involved in the pilot, with some planning to develop 'Paddy's Peace Walls,' with the students' own messages of peace.
Well-known local hotels (the Talbot, Whitford and Ferrycarrig) also plan to give their guests a special Shamrock welcome in the days leading up to St Patrick's Day with special gifts or events.
If you would like to join in this pilot peace initiative, then all you have to do is organise your own event, wear something green and celebrate peace in your own way. Then share your experience with us. And of course, like us on Facebook (Shamrock Appeal).
There is a strong Wexford contingent involved in the Shamrock Foundation team, including John Atkinson (Irish Homeminders); John Browne (former TD); Éamonn Buttle (South East Radio); Gemma Ferris (student); Micheal Londra (singer); James O'Connor (Greenacres) and Colm Tóibín (author).
The project founder is Bobby Lambert of Crossabeg, Wexford, a past-pupil of St Peter's College. Bobby has spent over 30 years working in development and humanitarian action.
'Paddy's Day is a wonderful opportunity for good. There are millions of people celebrating around the world, there is a lot of good news out there and the media and the news, with their stories of voices of despair, don't always tell us that,' he said, 'to quote Barack Obama "we can do it".'
The focus this year is on celebration rather than fundraising. However, if anyone wishes to donate this year, then the Foundation has identified two worthy causes: SafeIreland (working to end domestic violence in Ireland) http://www.safeireland.ie and Peace Committees in the strife-torn Central African Republic.
These committees are working to foster dialogue between the various religious groups. Funding will be channelled through Conciliation Resources, a highly-respected NGO based in London.