Friday, 7 August 2009

Remembering the dead of Hiroshima

Councillor Rebecca Moynihan, Ambassador Toshinao Urabe and Patrick Comerford observe a minute’s silence at Irish CND’s Hiroshima Day commemoration in Merrion Square

Patrick Comerford

The Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament was re-founded thirty years ago, in October 1979. Thirty years later, sixty or seventy people gathered in Merrion Square yesterday [Thursday, 6 August 2009] for Irish CND’s annual ceremony to mark the 64th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

A wide-cross section of society was represented, including members of Pax Christi, the Peace and Neutrality Alliance, the Irish Anti-War Movement, the Irish Network for Nonviolent Training and Education, TDs and local councillors, musicians and artists, academics and diplomats, including diplomatic representatives from the embassies of Japan and India, and Mr David Keating of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Dr David Hutchinson-Edgar, chair of Irish CND, introduced Councillor Rebecca Moynihan, representing the Lord Mayor of Dublin, who spoke eloquently about the sufferings of the people of Hiroshima and the compelling need for nuclear disarmament.

The Ambassador of Japan, Mr Toshinao Urabe, spoke of the suffering of his people in the 64 years since the bombing of Hiroshima and offered practical ways of advancing President Obama’s proposals in Prague earlier this year for ridding the world of all nuclear weapons.

After my address as President of Irish CND, Councillor Moynihan laid a wreath of chrysanthemum flowers in the shape of the CND logo at the foot of the cherry tree planted in the park by Irish CND on Hiroshima Day 1980.

The day was filled with sunshine and ended appropriately with music from Irish and Japanese musicians.

For Patrick Comerford’s address at the ceremony visit: The greatest moral imperative of our age

Photographs: Rob Fairmichael