Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St Patrick's Day Knots

This year, St Paddy's Day falling on a Tuesday seemed strange - we got used to it being near the weekend and taking a longish break. The celebrations will pass, but this monument, opened by Eamon De Valera in 1973 and dedicated to the Third Battalion, Dublin Brigade,will still be on this corner - largely unnoticed by passers by. The year 1973 ended the second and last term of De Valera's Irish presidencies. De Valera had commanded the Third Battalion, Dublin Brigade in the Easter rebellion of 1916. Following fighting at Boland's Mill, De Valera was forced to surrender here at this point in Ballsbridge. It is right that on St Patrick's Day we also remember those who gave up their lives for Ireland's independence. I particularly like the Celtic knots depicted on the cross and sometimes I pause for just a minute and trace the patterns. Common to both Ireland and Scotland, the interlaced knotwork is historically likely to be the last in the various patterns thought to be typical of the Celts. Yet they have something of the uroboros about them and are therefore appropriately timeless.