Muslim Eid al-Adha festival to take place at Croke Park for second year

Over twice as many people can attend next week as pandemic restrictions are relaxed

Shaykh Umar al-Qadri, who led the Eid al-Adha event in Croke Park last year. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Shaykh Umar al-Qadri, who led the Eid al-Adha event in Croke Park last year. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

 

For the second year in a row one of the major annual Muslim festivals, that of Eid al-Adha, will be celebrated in Croke Park.

It takes place from 9am on Tuesday, July 20th, and this year 500 people can take part. Last year pandemic restrictions limited the number to 200.

Shaykh Umar al-Qadri, chairman of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council and organiser of the event Shaykh Umar al-Qadri said “anyone can register and we’ve already had registrations from Belfast, Portlaoise, Athlone, Dublin, from everywhere. It’s a unique celebration, it’s in Croke Park, for everybody who would like to join us,” he said.

Invitations, as last year, have been sent to other faith leaders, as well as members of the Government and other public representatives, for this “All-Ireland Eid al-Adha Prayer at Croke Park 2021”.

GAA president Larry McCarthy said the event last year “was a huge success and symbolised our ongoing efforts to foster inclusion and diversity throughout the community”.

Last year when then Catholic archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin arrived for the event at Croke Park he was met by protesters, who surrounded his car and shouted “traitor” and other abuse at him.

Later he described the protesters as “very aggressive” people who did not understand what religious tolerance meant.

Shaykh al-Qadri said he too had been subject to abuse, mainly through social media.

He said generally however, and particularly among Ireland’s Muslims, last year’s Eid celebrations at Croke Park “were received very positively”.

He said: “We were showing how things are to be done. For example, we had gender equality. We made sure that there were Muslim women represented fairly, not only by being there but by presenting,” he said.

People can register for this year’s event at eventbrite.ie.