Our Declaration invokes Downpatrick, a site recognised by all as emblematic of the island’s ancient history. The Shrine of the Three Patrons, embodying the tradition that Saints Patrick, Brigid and Colmcille are interred there, celebrates the shared roots of the island’s different Christian faith traditions, stemming from the Abrahamic roots which they share in turn with Judaism and Islam. Downpatrick itself has known conflict throughout the millennia, up to and including the recent Troubles, but remains a beacon of the values of its patrons: Patrick, an enslaved immigrant, returned with a radical message of peace and love and rejected killing; Brigid lived a life of peace and harmony with nature, selling a bejewelled sword to feed the hungry, and Colmcille left the island in repentance for his own past involvement with violence, bringing to the world a message of charity and peace.


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