All posts by quakersireland

Over 200 people join us planting white poppies

More than 200 members of the public joined Dublin Quakers making white poppies and creating an art installation in Merrion Square, Dublin, on 11 November 2018.

This was to commemorate not only the 9.7 million soldiers and 10 million civilians who died during World War 1, but all who have died as a result of military violence at all times.

A short period of silent commemoration was held at 11am followed by a variety of readings of poetry and prose written by people who were involved in combat as well as by civilians.

The Dublin Quaker Peace Committee, which organised the event, found the response of passers-by “extraordinary”.

“We decided to make white poppies because we wanted our focus to be on individuals, not governments or politicians or generals,” said Seán McCrum, convenor of the Dublin Quaker Peace Committee.

“We felt that we should come up with an event that would commemorate Armistice Day 1918 in a way that would make it very clear we are commemorating all of the individuals who suffered, whether they were military or civilians. And it was very important civilians be remembered because they are totally forgotten about,” he said. “The white poppy is a statement of peace as opposed to the red poppy which has become embroiled in UK politics.”

You can read an excellent article about the event in The Irish Times here.

It was the second time for the Dublin Quaker Peace Committee to host such an event. In 2016 they held a similar event in Merrion Square to commemorate the last day of the Somme when many Irish people were also lost.

The following statement was made in 1661 by early Quakers and we believe it is as valid now as it was then: ‘We utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fighting with outward weapons, for any end or any pretence whatsoever.’

You can see more photos on our Facebook page here.

Quaker representation at Presidential Inauguration

The Clerk of Ireland Yearly Meeting, Heather Bewley, represented the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Ireland at the Presidential Inauguration in Dublin Castle on 11 November 2018.

Heather read the following prayer:

Heavenly Father,

We ask you to bless all those in public office. We give thanks for these men and women who take on such responsibility, and who serve the community with integrity and respect for all. May they seek your guidance in their work and know the support of those they represent.

With rapid changes taking place world-wide, we pray that our politicians are aware their decisions may effect both our environment, and the sustainability of the whole world.

We remember today the ending of World War One, but cannot forget the many countries where there is still fighting.

We pray that oireachtas members will continually strive to make Ireland a country of inclusion, equality, justice and peace, and be proactive in promoting these goals at European and International level.

Culture Night – 21st September

Dublin Friends will be participating in Culture Night on Friday 21st September.

Join us in Eustace Street Meeting House for interesting talks, displays and lots more anytime between 5-10pm … or just to have a chat and a cup of tea. It will be an opportunity to find out about the Quaker tradition, the history of the Quakers in Ireland and to meet with members of the community. Find out more here.

There will also be the opportunity to visit the Quaker burial ground at Temple Hill, Blackrock, between 5-9pm. Tours will take place at 5.30pm and 7.30pm. Find out more here.

All welcome!

Ballymurrin Quaker Farmstead visit

On 2nd September 32 people gathered at Ballymurrin Quaker Farmstead, Co Wicklow, for a Meeting for Worship and lunch. Thanks to Christopher Moriarty of Monkstown Meeting for this report:

Three hundred and fifty years ago, on an April day in 1668, a baby boy named Robert was born on a farm at Ballymorenbeg near Wicklow town.  His father, Ambrose Judd, had emigrated from England and in 1667 married Ann Eves.  He was ‘was convinced of the blessed truth’ in 1672.   Their farm remained in Quaker ownership for many generations.

Its buildings were acquired in 1994 for a family home by two Dublin architects, Philip Geoghegan and his wife Delphine.  They carefully restored the exterior, re-developed the rooms for 21st century life and, at the same time, became immersed in its Quaker past.

That led them many years ago to visit the Friends Historical Library in Dublin and enter a happy relationship with a succession of archivists.  In 2017 Philip suggested to the Library folk that the great anniversary might be celebrated by holding a Meeting for Worship in the homestead.

Sunday 2nd September 2018 was a sunny day and 32 Friends and Attenders exchanged their regular meeting places for a memorable visit to Ballymurrin Quaker Farmstead.  It began with Meeting for Worship in the largest room – with an overflow into the garden behind it.  Several neighbours joined us for their first experience of a Quaker Meeting and a variety of birds supplemented the vocal ministries.

After the Meeting, Philip gave an outline of the history of the farm and we set off on the short walk to Ballymurrin Quaker Burial Ground, which the first owners had set aside for the purpose in the 17th century.

The little plot is surrounded by trees on three sides, with a stone wall and an arched entrance for the fourth.  Most of the 240 interments listed in the records are unmarked – they had been made prior to the 1860s when Friends decided that stone memorials did not, after all, conflict with Christian belief.  Four graves in one corner do have headstones which, surprisingly, don’t conform with the permitted simplicity standard of uniform size and minimal inscription.  They were erected between 1870 and 1895 and all commemorate members of the Pim family.

Amongst the visitors on 2nd September was Jonathan Pim of Rathfarnham Meeting.  Twenty years ago Jono and his late brother Brian had found the burial ground to be an impenetrable jungle of brambles.   They arranged to have these cleared and for the ground to be maintained by regular mowing, an initiative that transformed it to its present state of a shaded park.  Trees they planted have grown well – in spite of living in competition with invading sycamores.  A seed sown on the occasion was the possibility of having stone tablets, with the names and dates of all those buried, carved and attached to the wall.

After inspecting the Burial Ground, we returned to the farmstead for a sumptuous lunch, a walk around the buildings and garden and a look at the beautifully illustrated leaflets on the background that Philip has written and printed.  They include a paper on William Bates, who had lived at Ballymurrin for 10 years up to 1681.  Like many other contemporary Quakers, he emigrated to America, settling in Newton, New Jersey.

Visitors are welcome to Ballymurrin throughout the summer but booking in advance is essential.  Go to the website Ballymurrin Quaker Farmstead to make arrangements.

Quaker Women and Social Justice

‘Quaker Women and Social Justice: Learning from their Experience’ is the title of a six-week online course that will take place from 5th November to 16th December 2018.

Julianna Minihan and Martin Layton will be co-tutoring the course, which will look at social and economic concerns of some British and American Quaker women activists in the 1800s and early 1900s.

Follow the link for details >> https://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/item/quaker-women-and-social-justice-learning-from-their-experience/