On 19th March at 11am there will an official re-launch of the bells of Christ Church Cathedral Waterford by former President of Ireland, Dr. Mary McAleese.
The bells have been silent for 18 months due to repairs and now their renewed peal will send a message of joy across the city and further afield. The bells will ring out a message of protest against the rising incidence of hate speech, racism and xenophobia, hoping to address the good in people.
Over the last number of weeks a wide range of communities and individuals have supported the appeal, from Clifden in Connemara to Thailand, from Fullarton in South Australia to Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada, from Miami to Cobh. In Waterford, the bells of Barronstand St Cathedral and St Patrick’s Methodist Church will ring simultaneously, as will all the bells of the Dublin Archdiocese.
That the peal will ring out on St. Patrick’s weekend is pertinent. On that day we remember the immigrant Patrick who brought Ireland to faith as well as the millions of Irish emigrants who sought safety and opportunity around the world. Let us mark this day by a show of solidarity with all desperately seeking welcome and new lives among us. Together through the bells our message will peal of welcome, respect and solidarity with immigrants and refugees and people made invisible in their desperation.
All are welcome to the 10 am service at which Dr. McAleese will preach, following which she will launch the bells at 11am. We hope that the name given by the people of Waterford to the bells ‘The Joy Bells’ will ring a message of kindness not hate near and fear.