Archive for June 1, 2020

Welcome to Pride Month 2020!

Posted in Covid-19, LGBT, Politics on June 1, 2020 by telescoper

Once again it’s time for a month of LGBTQ Pride.

Although the main Dublin Pride event has been cancelled this year because of the Covid-19 outbreak, there are still a number of virtual events going on.

Thus year more than any other Pride gives us an important opportunity to express solidarity to all grieving and fighting for a better world in the face of monstrous injustices such as the murder of George Floyd.

That includes those of us who are white and gay acknowledging that systematic racism exists and that by keeping quiet and doing nothing we are, however unintentionally, complicit in it.

Lá Saoire i mí Mheitheamh

Posted in Maynooth with tags , , , on June 1, 2020 by telescoper

So here I am in Maynooth where it is a lovely sunny day and a Bank Holiday. Looking back through this blog I realise that this is my third June Bank Holiday in Ireland. Tempus fugit!

To celebrate the occasion here is a picture of Maynooth University Library Cat which I took when he was on post waiting for food a couple of days ago.

The June Bank Holiday (Lá Saoire i mí Mheitheamh) in Ireland is actually the equivalent of last week’s late May Bank Holiday in the UK, in that both have their origin in the old festival of Whitsuntide (or Pentecost) which falls on the 7th Sunday after Easter. I understand Pentecost is when the Holy Spirit went down on the Disciples.

Anyway, because the date of Easter moves around in the calendar so does Whit Sunday, but it is usually in late May or early June. When the authorities decided to fix a statutory holiday at this time of year, presumably to reduce administrative difficulties, the UK went for late May and Ireland for early June. Whit Sunday was actually yesterday (31st May) so this year Lá Saoire i mí Mheitheamh coincides with Whit Monday.

Incidentally, when I was a lad, ‘Whit Week’ was always referred to as ‘Race Week’. Geordie Ridley’s famous music hall song The Blaydon Races begins “I went to Blaydon Races, ’twas on the 9th of June, Eighteen Hundred and Sixty Two on a summer’s afternoon…”. Easter Sunday fell on 20th April in 1862, so Whit Sunday was on 8th June. After raucous scenes at the Blaydon Races, they were scrapped and replaced with a Temperance Festival on the Town Moor in Newcastle which evolved into one of the largest open-air funfairs in Europe, The Hoppings, although I suppose there was any of that this year.

This year the Bank Holiday is a bit strange, what with the Covid-19 restrictions, and I still have exam marking to do, but I have decided to put the autoreply on for my work email and take the day off.