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  • Writer's pictureLara O'Brien

Writing to your President and your community.

I am writing to complete my own memoir, part of an exercise to help others write their own life story and memories. I've taken time out to reflect on the last year, month and day.

In April I had the honour of hosting President Michael. D Higgins and his wife Sabina, along with a whole array of dignitaries, our community and the Restoration Group of the EIRE 6 WWII neutrality sign on Howth Head. Part of the day was also to give an address to thank everyone for the last two years of solid work in achieving this historic restoration. And for me it was a reckoning, a time to reflect on returning to Ireland, what was important, then and now.

The day of the launch was a day I dreamed of, not exactly, but in its essence. A day to nod to the east mountain, her beauty, her importance, her hidden memories. So many memories are tied to the very shape of her, they are written in her stony paths, waving ferns and spring waterways. And at some point it's good to both remember those youthful times and good to let them go, acknowledge that looking forward with purpose is as important than the exercise of looking back and holding onto nostalgia. Like writing itself, balance is everything.

So I found myself writing structured thoughts out and editing over a few days, was a very powerful 'sitting down' with what words were important, what mattered, what needed to be said, and what didn't. Then how to cut your prose to 'only the necessary words' and within 2 minutes. Mostly a big thank you to so many, but in a heartfelt and uplifting delivery. All the speeches are on

It was the honour of a lifetime and if someone told me 10 years ago 'you will write an address to the President of Ireland' I would have laughed and cried and laughed and cried, but life throws us tiny windows to open or cracked doors to walk through, and into our own dreams, and on this beautiful east mountain day, with friends and esteemed colleges was a dream come true

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