ROYAL VISIT TO DUBLIN: NATIONAL SERVICE AND GALA DINNER OF THE CLANS OF IRELAND
On the second day of the Royal Visit to Dublin, His Royal Highness The Prince David of Georgia, headed the congregation at the Service of Friendship for Knightly Orders organised by the Order of Merit of Clans of Ireland, at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin.
His Royal Highness, in his capacity as Sovereign Head and Hereditary Grand Master of the Dynastic Orders of the Royal House of Georgia, was welcomed at the Cathedral’s entrance by Dr. Michael J.S. Egan, Chairman of the Clans of Ireland, who then escorted His Royal Highness to be received in the Cathedral by The Most Reverend Dr. Michael Geoffrey St. Aubyn Jackson, Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin and Bishop of Glendalough.
The national service was officiated by The Most Reverend Dr. Jackson, who delivered an introductory speech, welcoming all Knights and Dames of the Orders present, which included the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, the Sacred Constantinian Order of St. George, the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem (British Realm), the Order of the Eagle of Georgia and the Seamless Tunic of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem. The Archbishop of Dublin encouraged all those present to persist in their charitable work and to remember the call of Christ to assist the poor, the needy and the vulnerable.
The Choral Evensong was sung by a consort of the Cathedral Choir. The first lesson was read by His Excellency The Baron McClafferty, Chancellor of the Order of Merit of Clans of Ireland and Rector of the Royal Orders of Georgia in Ireland. The second lesson was delivered by Sir David Roche, Bt, Deputy Chairman of the Standing Council of Baronetage.
The Gala Dinner was held in the Cathedral Crypt, where His Royal Highness was introduced to all those attending, including Lords and Ladies, Ambassadors, Baronets, Chiefs of Clans, Officers from the Irish Army, Officers from the St. John Ambulance, Knights and Dames of recognised Knightly Orders, and other leading members of Irish society. His Royal Highness was particularly delighted to discover that a delegation from the Georgian community in Dublin, of around ten Georgians, headed by the Georgian Orthodox parish priest in Dublin, Father David Lonergan, was attending the dinner in his honour.
The dinner was hosted by the Order of Merit of the Clans of Ireland, under the Patronage of His Excellency Dr. Michael Higgins, President of the Republic of Ireland. Following a speech drawing on the traditions of the Clans and thanking The Prince David for attending the dinner, Dr. Egan presented His Royal Highness with a gift from the Clans of Ireland: a beautiful clock made out of a 5,000 year old oak, preserved in the bogs of Ireland through the millennia. Dr. Egan proposed a toast to the President of Ireland and The Prince David asked all present to toast His Holiness and Beatitude Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia.
Two telegrams of greeting were sent by the Office of the President of the Republic of Ireland, and by His Excellency the Apostolic Nuncio in Dublin. The President sent his greetings to His Royal Highness The Prince David of Georgia and sent his regrets for his being unable to attend due to a previous engagement, and sent his best wishes to the Clans of Ireland and assembled members of Knightly Orders.