F1 legend Eddie Irvine had provided his Bangor karting/sports complex as the focal point for a celebration of St Columbanus, who died 1400 years ago in Bobbio, Italy, having travelled across Europe from Bangor, reintroducing Christianity after the fall of the pagan Roman Empire.
A lifelong friend of the Irvine family, Dr Ian Adamson OBE, launched his book, ‘Bangor, Light Of The World’ at the event, which saw bikers gather at Eddie Irvine Sports, having first met at various rallying points including Belfast City Hall.
A number of local heroes from the world of motorcycling, including Alastair Seeley and Jeremy McWilliams, were present at Eddie Irvine Sports from 1030am, at an event which included musical performances from Bangor and Belfast school children and on-stage Q&A sessions withFI ace Eddie Irvine and his fast friends from two-wheeled motorsport.
Sunday 22nd November also saw Eddie Irvine Sports unveil a first for Northern Ireland – the latest generation of motorcycle road racing simulator, which will give riders an adrenalin-soaked taste of road racing ecstasy, without ever leaving the Balloo Road venue.
Commenting on the event, Dr Ian Adamson said, “Columbanus is a huge figure in the rest of Europe and his missionary work involving Common Christianity changed European history. Columbanus’ epic Sixth Century journey epitomised the spirit of adventure shared by today’s bikers, so it is fitting that they gather at the start point of his journey 1400 years on to celebrate the man and his mission.”
President Of Ireland Michael D. Higgins commented, “It is uplifting and reassuring to know that St Columbanus continues to be an important figure in the cultural life of our society, recognised and celebrated at events such as this occasion at Eddie Irvine Sports. I wish all who attend a most enjoyable gathering.”