Saturday, August 13, 2016

71st anniversary of bombing of Hiroshima marked by Dublin ceremony

On Saturday, 6th August, Irish CND hosted the annual commemoration of the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, marking the 71st anniversary of the bombing. The ceremony of words, music and silence was held in Merrion Square Park, in Dublin, at the memorial cherry tree planted by Irish CND in 1980. 

Opening the ceremony, Deputy Lord Mayor Mary Freehill recalled Dublin becoming a member, over 20 years ago, of Mayors for Peace, established by the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to work for a nuclear-weapons-free world. She repeated Dublin's commitment to that vision, and called for the prompt negotiation of an international treaty to outlaw and eliminate nuclear weapons. 

Irish CND President, Patrick Comerford, denounced those who would threaten the world with nuclear weapons today, and reiterated Cllr Freehill's call for all countries to join in negotiating a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. 

The Japanese ambassador, Her Excellency Mrs Mari Miyoshi, Canon Patrick Comerford, President of Irish CND, Cllr Mary Freehill, Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin, David Hutchinson Edgar, Chairperson of Irish CND

Speaking at the ceremony for the first time, the Japanese ambassador, Mrs Mari Miyoshi, talked of the terrible suffering of the people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which has continued many years after the bombing. She thanked Irish CND for organising the commemoration, and spoke of Japan's commitment to ensuring that nuclear weapons are never used again. 

Musicians Junshi Murakami (Irish harp), Philip Horan (Japanese flute) and Máire Úna Ní Bheaglaoich (accordian) contributed several pieces of reflective music, which for many of those present, expressed a depth of feeling beyond words in response to the horror of nuclear weapons. Poet Hugh McFadden read one of his poems reflecting on the bombing. A minute's silence was observed following the laying of a white chrysanthemum wreath at the cherry tree by the Deputy Lord Mayor, on behalf of the people of Dublin. 

Irish CND wishes to thank the Parks Department of Dublin City Council for its assistance with the commemoration. 

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