Hong Kong and Macau Turn Green

What a great experience to be invited to take part in Macau’s Script Road Writers’ Festival! I met lots of writers not only from China and Portugal but from across the world.

I took part in a lively discussion on ‘The Peculiar Life of Writer’ at The Old Court Building with Sweden’s Bengt Ohlsson and Portugal’s Rui Zink. Also I was kept busy with events across the island, talking in Macau’s University, the International School, the Sir Robert Ho Tung Chinese School, as well as a family event at The Ritz Carlton Hotel.

Great to see Macau’s historic St Paul’s Church turn green, like many iconic buildings around the world, to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Dublin’s Lord Mayor, Criona ni Dhalaigh, spoke at the Hong Kong and Macau Irish Festival‘s St. Patrick’s Day dinner in the Grand Lapa Hotel. The next day she led off the first St. Patrick’s Day parade to be held on the island.

Watching the local Irish dancing groups, traditional lion dancers and the Chinese dragon, as well as local hip-hop dancers and the police bag-pipers, I felt very proud to be part of such a multi-cultural celebration of Ireland’s heritage.

In Hong Kong, the Mayor of Dublin presented Father Joseph Mallin – aged 102 – with the great honour of the Freedom of Dublin City. Father Joseph, son of Michael Mallin the 1916 Rising leader, is not only the last living child of an executed leader of the Rising but has dedicated his life to working and helping those in need in Hong Kong.

A concert entitled ‘Mise Eire’ was held to celebrate and commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Rising and was attended not only by the Irish community living in Hong Kong, but also by those with an interest in Ireland. I was very honoured to read a chapter from Rebel Sisters to the large audience and to get the chance to meet Father Mallin.

Well done to Ireland’s Consul, General Peter Ryan and all those involved in organising such a special event to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising!

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