In a perfect example of cultural integration, Ireland has allocated Croke Park for Muslim’s `Eid Al-Adha Celebrations for the second year in a row.
“I am delighted that the Gaelic Athletic Association and the team at Croke Park have once again provided us with the opportunity to gather as a community in Croke Park to celebrate the occasion of `Eid Al-Adha,” Shaykh Dr. Umar Al-Qadri, the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council (IMPIC) Chairperson said, Irish Times reported.
“The media coverage of last year’s event was well-received around the globe, generating huge goodwill for the GAA and Irish society wherever it reached.”
“This year’s event will build on that, strengthening the relations between the Irish Muslim Peace & Integration Council and the GAA as we remember that we are stronger together, and we must all emulate the GAA’s example in providing spaces and places ‘Where We All Belong’.”
The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) announced that its headquarters would host the `Eid prayer on Tuesday, 20 July, in Croke Park Stadium. The Stadium is home to Ireland’s largest sporting and cultural organization, the GAA.
“Following the success of last year’s event and with Covid restrictions governing religious ceremonies still in place, the Association’s headquarters will once again welcome members of the Muslim community for their celebration.”
“With Croke Park out of commission for games for long periods last year, it was wonderful to be able to host the celebration of `Eid Al-Adha in our stadium,” GAA President Larry McCarthy said.
“We are all delighted to have our games back with some supporters in attendance, and we are also very pleased to be able to host the 2021 `Eid celebration.”
`Eid Al-Adha, or “Feast of Sacrifice”, is one of the two most important Islamic celebrations, together with `Eid Al-Fitr.
After special prayers to mark the day, Muslims offer unhiyah, a ritual that reminds of the great act of sacrifice Prophet Ibrahim and his son Isma`eel were willing to make for the sake of God.
`Eid Al-Adha also marks the end of the annual hajj.
According to the 2016 Pew Research Centre report, it is estimated that Ireland’s Muslim population stands at approximately 70,000.