At the invitation of Minister Martin Heydon, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar visited Kildare on Friday, to mark the first public holiday for St Brigid which will take place on the 6th of February.


Following the visit, Minister Martin Heydon said, “I was delighted that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar accepted my invitation to Kildare on Friday to formally recognise the remarkable legacy of St Brigid in advance of the new public holiday in her honour which we have long campaigned for.”


“We visited Solas Bhríde, where An Taoiseach lit a special candle marking the ‘Pause for Peace’ initiative, a global call for peace spearheaded by Into Kildare and Solas Bhríde, which will be recognised in the Dáil and around the world at noon on St. Brigid’s Day this Wednesday.


“An Taoiseach planted an oak tree as a special reference to the symbol that gave our county its name, Cill Dara or ‘Church of the Oak” where St. Brigid built her church.


“Establishing this public holiday serves as a special chance to pay tribute to Brigid of Kildare, a strong woman who was known for promoting peace and as an advocate for justice. The new holiday on February 6th is also poised to bring a surge in tourism and a corresponding economic boost to Kildare and the entire country.


“Kildare town is lucky to be home to a wide range of wonderful local businesses. I was glad to bring An Taoiseach to some of the business people in the market square following our visit to St. Brigid’s Cathedral, one of Ireland’s most significant ecclesiastical sites.


“Finally, we visited the Newbridge Family Resource centre which plays a vital role in the community, offering a wide range of services for individuals and families from the cradle to the grave.


“We met Ellen Duggan, Brian McQuaid, Cllr. Peggy O’Dwyer and the team at the Newbridge Family Resource Centre who have an unwavering commitment to improving the lives of those in the community through the various programs and groups associated with the centre.


“I was glad to have An Taoiseach hear first-hand of the wonderful work undertaken in the centre and how impactful Government funding has been in carrying out these services for the community.”


“It was an honour to have An Taoiseach visit Kildare in the build up to the long campaigned for public holiday in honour of Brigid of Kildare.” concluded Minister Heydon.