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Paweł Edmund Strzelecki – commemorative plaque unveiled

March 30, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Strzelecki_Plaque_on_ClerysIrish Polish Society Committee Members_Poznan delegation_and dignitaries_2On Sunday 29th March, 2015 at 6pm a commemorative plaque of Paweł Edmund Strzelecki (1797-1873) was jointly unveiled by Lord Mayor Christy Burke and Mayor of Poznań, Mr. Jacek Jaśkowiak.

The event was chaired by Edyta Jankowska, Irish Polish Society Chairperson who, before introducing the guests, said “I am proud that our organisation, Irish Polish Society, was entrusted with managing this project. Our Society’s values of integration, friendship and tradition are truly being realised here today.”

Event on Sackville Place, Dublin 1 (Liffey side of Clerys Department Store) was attended by many notable guests to include:
· Lord Mayor, Christy Burke
· Tánaiste, Joan Burton TD
· Polish Ambassador to Ireland, Mr. Ryszard Sarkowicz
· Minister of State for New Communities, Culture and Equality, Mr. Aodhán Ó Ríordáin
· Mayor of Poznań (Poland), Mr. Jacek Jaśkowiak

Before the unveiling, The Lord Mayor Christy Burke said “For centuries, the Irish people have been praised for their help and generosity to others worldwide. It is with great pleasure and pride that today on behalf of the Irish people I have the privilege of honouring Paweł, a Polish citizen, who did so much for the Irish people during one of the darkest periods of our history with the unveiling today of this plaque in his memory”

The plaque is funded by the people of the Polish city of Poznań and the Poznań Irish Culture Foundation, who was represented by its Chairperson Mr. Krzysztof Schramm and erected with the support of the Irish Polish Society, Dublin City Council, the Polish Embassy and Clerys department store. It is commemorating the Polish Explorer, Scientist and Philanthropist and between the years 1847-1849, he did outstanding humanitarian work for the victims of the Great Famine. As Chief Agent in Ireland for the charity the British Association for the Relief of Extreme Distress in Ireland, he organised local relief committees and supervised distribution of provisions and grants obtained from the association. In the most badly stricken western counties including Mayo, Sligo, and Donegal, he devised a scheme for feeding children through the agency of local schools. For his work in Ireland he was awarded the Order of Bath by Queen Victoria.

Speaking at the plaque unveiling, the Tánaiste, Joan Burton TD, said:
“I am greatly struck by the ideals of solidarity and human compassion Paweł Edmund Strzelecki’s life and work represent. I can think of few better representatives of the positive influence of the Polish people in Ireland. So let’s honour him and cherish his memory. Just as we should cherish the hundreds of thousands of contributions our Polish community has made to the modern, inclusive Ireland we’re building today. I hope to see our two nations grow even closer in the years ahead.”

Quotes from other notable speakers:
Mayor of Poznań Poland – Mr. Jacek Jaśkowiak: “I would like to thank wholeheartedly all the people whose intense effort allowed Paweł Edmund Strzelecki, a man of both dreams and action, as well as a great Pole, and a magnificent man who created bounds and built bridges between nations, to be honoured on Irish soil”.
Mr. Wojciech Owsianowski, Progenitor of the Commemorative Plaque: “As a Pole and European I am proud that Paweł Edmund Strzelecki was my compatriot.”
Mr. Bob Parker, Clerys Store Director: “Clerys are delighted to be involved in recognising Paweł Strzelecki’s tremendous humanitarian works during the famine period in helping those most in need. We also look forward to continuing to grow our shared understanding of each other’s culture”.
Mr. Krzysztof Schramm, Irish Culture Foundation Chairperson: “Our great countryman, coming from Głuszyna, now being part of Poznań, is well known not only as an explorer of Australia, a great compatriot of Poland, but also as a man deeply linked with Ireland whereby he dedicated part of his life”.

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