Dublin, MINA – Around 200 Muslims gathered at Dublin’s Croke Park stadium on Friday to hold Eid al-Adha Prater.
Croke Park is the headquarters of the Gaelic Athletics Association (GAA).
The Eid al-Adha prayer was done in a safe manner and using social distance during the current Covid-19 pandemic. The event was initiated by Shaykh Umar Al-Qadri, chairman of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council.
He thanked the GAA, Croke Park management, and the whole country for the use of “historic” places for this prayer. He then said a few words in Irish.
“Thank you to Ireland because today this Eid prayer sends a very strong message to the whole world that Ireland is indeed a céad míle fáilte country [an Irish expression for the warmth of the splendor termed with one hundred thousand greetings],” said Dr Al-Qadri.
“No matter your diversity, no matter how different you are, once you come and live here and you become part of the community. This Irish island has a unique and great ability to adopt you,” added the Islamic theologian.
Dr Al-Qadri, who submitted a request to GAA to use the stadium for the Eid al-Adha event, described the stadium as the “most iconic and symbolic venue” in Ireland. “This is a country that is proud of its diversity and embraces those who are part of the community,” he said.
Croke Park was built to host traditional Irish sports from Gaelic football, and camogie. It has even been used to host rock and pop concerts, as well as conferences and various other corporate events.
This stadium is the largest sports arena in Ireland, with the capacity to accommodate more than 82,000 spectators. The vast size of the place allows worshipers to sit on a prayer mat separately on the field.
The service was also attended by Catholic, Protestant and Jewish leaders from Dublin, as well as representatives from the Irish government. Irish President Michael D Higgins sent a message of good intentions to mark the occasion, where he praised the symbolism of the event at Croke Park.
“Eid al-Adha celebrations in Ireland’s iconic place, from this important holiday in the Islamic calendar are important moments in the Irish narrative,” the president wrote.
“This reminds us of a very diverse community and a great contribution that you, our new community, have made and continue to make for Ireland. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (T/RE1)