Kildare: Thousands Welcome The Dalai Lama Into Saint Brigid’s Home Town: UPDATED

13 Apr


Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has urged Irish people not to be discouraged or lose hope as they struggle to cope with the financial crisis.

In his first visit to Ireland in 20 years, the exiled Nobel peace laureate spoke to a sold-out conference of 2,000 people on the first leg of a two-day trip.

In a country reeling from its worst recession and facing the costliest banking crisis in history, the 76-year-old said money would not make people happy.

“The ultimate source of happiness, peace of mind, cannot be produced by money,” he said. “Billionaires, they are, I notice, very unhappy people. Very powerful, but deep inside, too much anxiety, too much stress.

“So where I go, I always say … the ultimate source of happiness and successful life is within ourselves.”

The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, addressed the Possibilities civic summit organised through three Irish not for profit organisations; the Children in Crossfire charity, established by his friend Richard Moore, and Afri and

Blinded by a British soldier in Northern Ireland aged 10, Mr Moore said the purpose of the conference was to create a sense of community for people facing the despair of financial ruin.

The Dalai Lama, describing Mr Moore as his hero, clutched his hands warmly throughout the public event. “There’s no one on this planet that would inspire people more, I believe, than His Holiness,” Mr Moore said.

Dressed in his traditional red Buddhist robes, the Dalai Lama said he had an emotional connection with Ireland as the country supported his initiative to raise the political plight of Tibet at the United Nations in 1959.

He fled his country that year after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, and now lives in India.

The Dalai Lama said he did not know much about “money matters”, but said friends had told him the global recession was caused by short-sightedness and too much greed.

People who rely solely on money, he said, suffer greatly, and he suggested a happy family life filled with love and affection would bring inner peace.

Asked if people should forgive reckless bankers, he said forgiveness did not mean one should forget.

The Dalai Lama said people should criticise, but not allow anger to come into their thoughts. “Once anger comes into your mind – biased,” he said. “So your criticism will not be genuine.”

The Dalai Lama also addressed emigration, with 1,000 people estimated to be leaving Ireland every week, the vast majority looking for work abroad. He said with self confidence, hard work and determination, the country’s battered economy would prosper again.

The 2,000-strong crowd at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin gave him a standing ovation as he began his at times humorous and cheeky speech, none of which was scripted.

More than 1,200 tickets for the event sold out within five days of going on sale on February 1st. The remaining 800 tickets were sold cheaply or given away to youth and community groups throughout the country.

As he clasped Mr Moore’s hands, the Dalai Lama urged people to be warm-hearted and compassionate, which he said was good for the health. The crowd gave him a standing ovation as he stepped down from the stage, greeting well-wishers and supporters as he went.

Former Irish president and ex-United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson was also among the speakers, along with performances from Irish musicians, theatre from schoolchildren at Scoil Eoghan in Moville, Co Donegal, and other acts.

The exiled spiritual leader later travelled to Kildare, where he was greeted with music by local schoolchildren as part of a visit organised by nuns of the Brigidine Sisters.

He was presented with the Brigid Flame, in recognition of his work for peace and his lifelong commitment to non-violence, along with other gifts before addressing a crowd of up to 700 people at St Brigid’s Parish Church and holding a private reflection.

The Dalai Lama formally announced earlier this month that he plans to step down as Tibet’s head of state and make way for his elected replacement.

He will deliver a special address entitled “The Power of Forgiveness” at the University of Limerick tomorrow. All 3,100 tickets for the event have already sold out.

It is his third trip to the Republic.

He has made three separate visits to Northern Ireland, in 2000, 2005 and 2007. He paid a one-day visit to the Republic on October 11th, 1973, when he was received at Áras an Uachtaráin by then-president, the late Erskine Childers. e made subsequent visit in March, 1991, two years after he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.


THE UNIVERSITY of Limerick is to host a public address by the Dalai Lama in April.

The event, on April 14th, is being organised in conjunction with the charity Children in Crossfire established by Richard Moore, a long-time friend of the Dalai Lama, and two non-profit organisations, and Afri.

“We are extremely honoured to host this address and to welcome the Dalai Lama on to our campus at UL,” UL president Prof Don Barry said.

“His Holiness is respected all over the world as a truly inspirational spiritual teacher whose energy, compassion and wisdom touch everyone he meets.

“He has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and the US Congressional Medal in recognition of his tireless efforts to promote the compassionate and peaceful resolution of human conflict and we very much look forward to hearing his message on the power of forgiveness when he speaks at UL,” he added.

The University of Limerick address will be the final engagement for the Dalai Lama, who will be in Ireland for just two days.

Children in Crossfire was established in 1996 by Mr Moore, from Derry, who was just 10 years old when he was blinded by a rubber bullet in 1972.

Mr Moore has since become a leading international advocate for the rights of children suffering from the injustice of poverty.

Civic and community leaders will be invited to hear the Dalai Lama speak in Limerick on “The Power of Forgiveness”.

The event will include ritual chant and music performances by students and faculty members of the Irish World Academy at UL as well as performances by the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

Limerick primary and secondary school children involved in the “Music as an Instrument of Social Change” programme will also perform.

The event will take place from 9.30am to 11.30am and is open to members of the public. Tickets, which will be available shortly, will cost €25 and are subject to booking fees and online charges. All proceeds from the event will support a Dalai Lama initiative to be established at UL.


The Tibetan religious leader, the Dalai Lama, has called for closer ties between Christian churches in Ireland.

 Richard Moore & Dalai Lama - First Irish visit in 20 years
Richard Moore & Dalai Lama – First Irish visit in 20 years

The Tibetan religious leader, the Dalai Lama, has called for closer ties between Christian churches in Ireland.

On a visit to Kildare town this afternoon, the exiled Buddhist leader said it would be wrong to generalise about Catholic clergy following recent sex abuse scandals.

In Kildare, he was presented with a St Brigid’s Cross and a St Brigid’s Flame – the symbols of Kildare’s spiritual heritage and of justice and peace.

Well-known uilleann piper Liam O’Flynn performed ‘Tabhair Dom do Lámh’ as the Dalai Lama walked the short distance to St Brigid’s Cathedral where is saying private prayers.

Earlier, the exiled Tibetan leader, who is on his first visit to the Republic of Ireland in 20 years, delivered a major speech at a conference in Dublin.

Speaking at a news conference ahead of his address, the Dalai Lama said he was ‘happy to be here once more’.

He said he always ‘felt a connection with Ireland’, as in 1959 when he raised the issue of Tibet at the UN, the Irish Government co-sponsored that initiative.

Commenting on Ireland’s economic woes, he said individuals who totally relied on money for their happiness really suffered during an economic crisis, compared to those for example with a happy family life.

He said people put too much emphasis on external values, and not enough on inner values, which brings inner strength.

He said Irish people must work with self confidence and co-operation to get out of our economic troubles.

However, when asked if Irish people should forgive bankers and politicians responsible for the difficulties, the Dalai Lama said while forgiveness doesn’t mean you forget, people should not hold onto anger and hatred.

Asked about the recent killing of the PSNI officer in Omagh, he said people in Northern Ireland have to solve their problems through dialogue and should live happily together.

He said that young people should look to the future more seriously and with vision. He said national boundaries are less relevant in a global society.

He was joined at the conference by Children in Crossfire founder Richard Moore, who the Tibetan leader has described as his ‘hero’.

Mr Moore from Derry was blinded aged 10 when a rubber bullet was fired into his face.

The 76-year-old Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

Since then he has won the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the Liberation of Tibet.

He has also been honoured in countries all over the world for his work in promoting the environment, inter-religious understanding and universal responsibility.

Following the news conference, the Dalai Lama addressed an audience of 2,000 people in Saggart, Co Dublin, on the issue of universal responsibility.

It was organised by three non-profit organisations – Afri, which focuses on human rights, Children in Crossfire, and, a youth website and forum.


The Dalai Lama has addressed over 3,000 people at an event at the University of Limerick, on the second and final day of his Irish visit.

Dalai Lama - Second day of visit to Ireland
 Dalai Lama – Second day of visit to Ireland

Dalai Lama urges Irish self confidence

The Dalai Lama has completed his two-day visit to Ireland with an address on ‘The Power of Forgiveness’ at the University of Limerick’s sports arena.

Over 3,000 people listened to the Dalai Lama’s address, which lasted for over an-hour-and-a-half.

He spoke in particular about the power of compassion, love, forgiveness and tolerance, and said these are the cornerstones across all religions.

He said he had made religious harmony his lifelong commitment, as well as promoting the human values of compassion and forgiveness.

The Dalai Lama had a particular message for young people and the education system. He urged parents and teachers to train young people in compassion.

He said they could learn the value of compassion through attitude and actions and a genuine smile.

The audience gave him a standing ovation when he urged them never to give up hope.


The visit also included a number of musical performances by the Irish World Academy from the University of Limerick, the Monks of Glenstal Abbey and the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

A group of 30 young children from regeneration schools in Limerick composed a special song about forgiveness for the Dalai Lama’s visit.

The Dalai Lama was accompanied by Richard Moore, who established the Children in Crossfire organisation, which works on behalf of children caught up in poverty and injustice.

The Derry man was blinded when he was struck by a rubber bullet when he was ten.

He went on to meet and befriend the man who fired the bullet, Charles Inness, who also attended today’s ceremony.

The Dalai Lama is a patron of the Children in Crossfire organisation.

Hundreds of people from community and business groups and from the world of sport, as well as those touched by deep human tragedy and suffering, attended today’s event.

Among them was Tyrone football manager Mickey Harte who later spoke of the very simple message that the Dalai Lama brought and said he felt privileged to be there.

Many others spoke of how they were moved by the Dalai Lama’s message and how to see him live was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.


THE HUSBAND of murdered woman Michaela Harte was among a number of victims of violence who attended an address by the Dalai Lama on the “Power of Forgiveness” held in Limerick yesterday.

John McAreavey and his father-in-law, Tyrone football manager Mickey Harte, joined more than 3,000 people at the University Arena to hear the Tibetan spiritual leader.

The sold-out event, streamed live on the internet, was organised by Richard Moore of the Children in Crossfire organisation, which works on behalf of children caught up in poverty and injustice.

The Derry man was blinded at age 10 when he was struck by a rubber bullet fired by a British soldier whom he later went on to meet and befriend. The soldier, Charles Innes, also attended yesterday’s ceremony.

During his address the Dalai Lama (75), who insisted on standing “so he could see more faces”, spoke about the power of compassion, love and forgiveness, and described religious harmony as his life-long commitment.

Mary and Anthony Geoghegan, the mother and brother of murdered Limerick rugby player Shane Geoghegan, were also present, as was Limerick woman Mary Fitzpatrick, whose son Michael was stabbed to death, age 19, in Southill in 1999.

Speaking afterwards, Mickey Harte said the subject matter was very relevant to his family, but that there were others also touched by tragedy. “I think it showed how the power of compassion can be of benefit to all of us,” Harte said.

Moore said he received a lot of correspondence in the run-up to the Dalai Lama’s visit from people who had lost loved ones through violence. “So if anything, it proved that the decision to bring his holiness to Limerick was certainly the right one, and I hope that you down there today get the same experience from listening to his holiness that I had,” he said.

During his 90-minute address the Dalai Lama said the ultimate source of happiness was inner peace. Describing religious harmony as one of his life-long commitments, he said all religions were dedicated to the same principles of love, contentment and compassion.

“I’m a Buddhist but I shouldn’t develop too much of an attachment to Buddhism because if you have too much attachment to your own faith then your mind becomes biased. You should be faithful to your own tradition but you must have an open mind to others,” he said.

“The ultimate source of a peaceful mind is not money, power or status,” he warned.

“One of my friends may be a millionaire but as a person he is a very unhappy person. Money fails to bring inner peace . . . Stress will not bring real inner joyfulness or peace. The heart really brings inner strength. Trust brings friendship. We are a social animal,” he continued.

He received several rounds of applause and a standing ovation from the audience after he urged them never to give up hope. He described mental experiences as “far superior” to physical ones and said society placed too much emphasis on sensory experiences.



One Response to “Kildare: Thousands Welcome The Dalai Lama Into Saint Brigid’s Home Town: UPDATED”

  1. brendan clifford 0AprilJ2011 at 9:07 pm #

    great report well done

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