News29 February 2020
February is the month of St Brigid. During the month the Embassy of Ireland in Malta commemorated St Brigid and celebrated the creativity of women and the important contributions women make across all walks of life. The month was similarly marked by Irish Embassies and Consulates across the globe.
St Brigid’s Reception
The Embassy of Ireland in Malta was honoured to host a reception in the National Museum of Archaeology of Malta celebrating the creativity of women and the important contributions women make across all walks of life.
Ambassador Duffy opened the reception highlighting how the origins of St Brigid’s Feast Day in February have been associated with Imbolc, a traditional Gaelic festival marking the change from Winter to Spring and the warmth, birth and growth that accompanies. This also brings to mind the strong significance of Malta’s Neolithic history, including the Goddess culture as depicted in the prehistoric female figurines preserved by the National Museum of Archaeology of Malta.
Marcia Grima, anthropologist and member of the Museum’s curatorial team, gave an insightful talk on the strong role of women in the Neolithic culture in Malta. The Museum hosts Malta’s iconic Sleeping Lady figurine from the Neolithic era and which is also depicted in the Museum’s logo. Marcia kindly led attendees on a tour of the artefacts housed in the Museum’s collections.
Professor Brenda Murphy, from Ireland and founding member of the Department of Gender Studies with the University of Malta and founding president of Mediating Women, spoke inspiringly on Women Across Time – Brigid: Celtic Goddess to Catholic Saint – a patchwork of lived experiences. Brenda traced developments in the field of gender equality and empowerment of women right up to contemporary times.
Irish writer, poet and journalist Brigid O’Dea delighted us with a recital of her poetry including the aptly titled Brigids: “…..To the Brigids of that past, Garnering power with a cloak, And the Brigids of tomorrow, To our women staying WOKE…” Brigid gave an engaging overview on the representations of St Brigid over time – from Pagan and early Christian depictions through to the present day.
Séamus Heaney Poetry Workshop
Irish writer, poet and journalist Brigid O’Dea delivered a workshop on the poetry of Séamus Heaney to the English Class at the University of Malta G.F. Abela Junior College. Topics explored in the engaging discussion included authors writing about what is familiar, connecting with what is relevant to them, using your own vocabulary, and letting words gradually reveal the story. The interactive session illustrated the value and meaning that can be drawn from poetry in daily life beyond the classroom. Questions and Answers with the students considered topics including ways of structuring a composition and the different pathways to becoming a writer.
Storytelling Workshop for Children
Irish writer, poet and journalist Brigid O’Dea presented a storytelling workshop for children aged 6-8. Building on the story of Leonard the Lion who loves to write poems, the children each created, animated and described their own lion. From the ice cream loving to the fashion forward – each lion’s personality was brought to the fore with the assistance of lots of wool, pipe cleaners, colouring pencils and crepe paper! The event was great fun and a wonderful introduction to the basics of character development. The Embassy was delighted to partner with venue Junior College on this event.