The Ulster Project of East Tennessee will host “Taste of Ireland”—a “sense-sational” celebration—on Saturday, April 5, from 6 to 10 p.m. in the Family Life Center at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Oak Ridge. Co-sponsored by the Knoxville and Oak Ridge chapters, the event will feature traditional Irish food and drink, live music, dance, and a silent auction.
Special musical guests, the local Irish/folk band, Shamrock Road, will entertain. Enjoy a buffet of traditional Irish favorite dishes and dessert between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Visit any of the four traditional Irish watering holes for something to accompany your meal or to quench your thirst from dancing a jig.
A “Taste of Ireland” is the perfect way to welcome spring and support the efforts to grow and sustain the peace process in Northern Ireland. The evening of food and entertainment costs $25 for adults and $20 for students (under 21) and seniors (65+). Tickets are available in Oak Ridge at Realty Center, 201 S. Tulane Ave.; at The Ferrell Shop in Historic Jackson Square; or through e-mail at [email protected]. Tickets will also be available at the door.
Proceeds benefit the Ulster Project of East Tennessee, an international and interdenominational program fostering peace in Northern Ireland. Since 1985, the Ulster Project has brought Catholic and Protestant teens from Derry/Londonderry to East Tennessee to spend a summer month with their Catholic and Protestant teen hosts while getting to know each other away from the strife at home. During their time here, the teens discover common ground. When they return home, they use the knowledge from this experience and their new friendships to help nourish the peace that is just now blossoming.
Northern Ireland made a tremendous step forward toward lasting peace when Catholics and Protestants installed a new power-sharing government in 2007. Yet much remains to be done to lessen the simmering distrust and resentment from decades of conflict. Canon Kerry Waterstone, the founder of the project, recently emphasized that even a single event could intensify such actions as home burning and verbal abuse of children passing through the “wrong” neighborhoods. Every year there are incidents that threaten the peace. The efforts of the Ulster Project remain as important as ever, and the future of Northern Ireland will be determined by today’s youth.
The Ulster Project can continue to promote peace with the support of the East Tennessee community. Donations to the Ulster Project of East TN, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, are much appreciated. Send checks to “Ulster Project of East Tennessee” at P.O. Box 4861, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-4861. Better yet, join us on Saturday, April 5, in a celebration of peace and a wee bit of Ireland.