One the first of may 2014 members of the Durlas Eile Eliogarty Memorial Committee Mr. Johnny Wort, President and P.R.O.Mr. Joe Fanning,Vice Chairman, along with Mr. Liam Gaffney North Tipperary United Nations Veterans Associations Post No 18,Mr Guy Jones President of the Irish Lebanese Cultural Foundation ,departed Dublin airport on route to the Lebanon for a nine day tour of Lebanon.
Two of the days attending two ceremonies the first one held in the Youth and culture centre Zouk Mikael, Jounieh on the out skirts of Beirut. The Symposium on Bishop Richard Pocoke 1704-1765 was the Anglican Bishop of Orrory 1756 -65.
Famous for his travels around Europe 1733 -1736 Charting maps and noting invaluable Observations that remained relevant till date.Pocok’s near East travels 1737 -42 to Egypt,Gerusalem,Palestine,Lebanon,Syria,Turkey,and Greese were later published in a three volume description of the East ‘’of 1743 and 1745 and is considered a notable source of information for researchers and historians as an independent objective and accurate resource. Attending on the night His Excellency Mr. Ahmad Diabb.Personal Representative of his Excellency Mr Michel Sleiman President of Lebanon .The Mayor of Zouke Mikael Mr. Nouhad Naufal.Opening remarks Eliane Fersan director of the youth and culture center .Keynote speech His Excellency Georges Siam Honorary Consul of Ireland in Lebanon, A preview of Irish and Lebanese relations. Musical act Dr George Fenning guitar , mandolin and vocals. Guest speaker Mr .Johnny Wort President of the Thurles Memorial Committee, The presence of Lebanon in Ireland. Symposium presentation,Mr Guy Jones President of the Irish Lebanese cultural foundation. Pocoke in Lebanon.Followed by a reception in the main library of Lebaness wine Salmon and Caviar from Kilkenny Cheeses from cooleeney moyne Thurles Co Tipperary kindly sponsored by the Maher family it all went down a treat not a morcel left at the end of the night. Also on display were copys of our book the Historical Walk of Thurles the Tipperary and Kilkenny holiday guidebook 2014 and information brochure on cooleeney cheese.The event was sponsored by Tipperary and Kilkenny Living History Loving Culture.The next morning the 4th of May up early at 5 am for our next ceremony to attend a special mass in St Georges Church Tibnine South Lebanon for the 47 Irish soldiers who died in the service of peace with the United Nations in Lebanon .After mass the priest thanked us for visiting Tibnine and attending mass .He said that the Irish people will be in the hearts of the Lebanese people for their service and kindness over 30 years to Lebanon and her people, God Bless Ireland and her people. Also attending mass were soldiers from Malaysia serving with the U.N in Tibnine .We talked to them about their role as peace keepers in the area and their home land , they said they liked the area but they were looking forward to the day when they will be going home .We took some photos wished them a safe mission and a safe journey home.It was time now to visit the Irish Memorial Garden at the back of St Georges Church to say a prayer for all Irish soldiers who died in the service of peace with the United Nations. Mr. Liam Gaffney and Mr. Johnny Wort laid a wreath at the memorial on behalf of the Durlas Eile Eliogarty Memorial Committee,The Royal Meath branch of O.N.E. The Pierce Mc Can Branch O.N.E. Templemore ,North Tipperary United Nations Veterans Association Post No 18, and the Irish Lebanese cultural foundation. After the short ceremony we were on our way to camp shamrock where we spent two hours chatting taking photos with our boys and girls serving with the United Nation in the Area.We gave them some copys of the Historical Walk of Thurles and Tipperary tour Gide for their library.It was time to be on our way again this time it was back to Tibnine our host Mr. Abdo Habdad and his family for a rest and a harty Lebanese feast. Abdo and his family made us feel at home their home was our home while we were there. After our meal we all sat out and relaxed in Abdos balcony about our tour the people we met how ever one we met made us feel welcome with a hand shake and a smile.The Lebanese people are very much like us in many ways their history and back ground are much like ours .For the future Liam ,Joe and myself wish the country of Lebanan and her people Peace and Stability