The first public flying of our tricolour was by the patriot Thomas Francis Meagher in Waterford in 1848. The central white symbolises the desire for peace and unity between the green and orange traditions on this island. It next came to historical prominence when flown atop the GPO in Dublin during the Easter Rising 1916 and eventually became our national flag in 1937.

However, the first public flying of the tricolour was during the Great Famine in Ireland, the greatest disaster in 19th century Europe. This catastrophe resulted in one million deaths and another two million of the population emigrating.

The cruelty of the times was captured in part by Pete St John in his famous ballad ‘The Fields of Athenry”.’ Sung in the terraces by Galway GAA supporters in the late 80s and Connacht Rugby supporters more recently, the song has subsequently become a great anthem sung at many sporting events across the globe.

Ironically and appropriately, it is from the fields of Athenry that now, in 2020 comes a call to ‘Fly The Flag For Ireland’. Athenry Golf Club calls on all its members to fly the Irish tricolour from their houses, apartments, and poles in their gardens:

1. To show solidarity with all citizens in defiance of this dreaded Coronavirus
2. To demonstrate hope for the future in Ireland, Europe and throughout the Irish diaspora worldwide
3. This simple but significant action will show our support, praise, and thanks to our local GPs, medical staff in hospitals and healthcare workers everywhere during a time when so many of us feel wanting in the face of this terrible threat.
4. To make it known that we appreciate the dedicated service of food and pharmaceutical retail staff, helping us to stay well and well-fed.
5. To acknowledge the fine leadership and strategic pro-action of our Government and the relevant departments in this crisis, which we can witness on a daily basis.

Beginning in Athenry Golf Club, we want members to spread these messages across the county, province, and island of Ireland so that our people, albeit at a distance, will sincerely feel the coming together in 2020, through flying the flag in the face of Covid19.
The procedure envisaged would be to put up the flag at 12.00 noon each day and take it down each night with the customary respect.
Stay safe. Stay Healthy. Spread the Word, not the virus