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Rarotonga gears up for St. Patrick’s Day

Sunday 17 March 2024 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National


Rarotonga gears up for St. Patrick’s Day
Ambassador of Ireland to the Cook Islands Jane Connolly and her husband (standing in middle) flanked by Paul and Shona Lynch with King’s Representative Sir Tom Marsters and Lady Marsters in September last year. MFAI/23092416

The members of the Irish community in Rarotonga and their supporters will celebrate the St. Patrick’s Day to be observed tomorrow.

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday observed to mark the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. The holiday has evolved into a celebration of Irish culture with parades, special foods, music, dancing, drinking, and a whole lot of green.

Cook Islander Paul Lynch, whose late father Paddy Lynch was an Irishman, will be having a family dinner all dressed in green.

“The RSA normally do Irish food and drinks for their members and visitors.  My Irish dad passed last year but we used to go there,” Paul said. “Hash house harriers also do a run on Mondays for it.”

Paul said local eateries and bars organised St. Patrick’s Day themed events.

Unfortunately, a formal dinner to mark the event at Coastal Kitchen tonight has been cancelled.

Paul was asked by the Irish Ambassador to the Cook Islands Jane Connolly to deliver her address.

In her address, Ambassador Conolly said: “It is a true privilege to be the first Irish Ambassador to the Cook Islands and to be wishing you all a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day.”

“St. Patrick’s Day provides our Irish family and our friends all over the world an opportunity to come together to celebrate. To celebrate our bonds of kinship and history, to celebrate our heritage and the heritage of the many places who have welcomed us and provided us with shelter and care.

“And it is the ideal occasion to come together to raise money for such a worthy cause.

“Though we are separated by our geography, our two peoples share close bonds and have done for generations. The Embassy looks forward to working to deepen and strengthen those bonds and to having more opportunities for our two countries to share our rich heritages and cultures.”

Cook Islands formalised diplomatic relations with Ireland in 2022. The Wellington-based Ambassador Conolly is the first Irish diplomat to serve here.