Tribute to Savita as Indian festival light up the skies

TALENTED: Savita Halappanavar was judged to be the outstanding dancer at the Diwali Festival in 2010

Alan O'Keeffe and Brian McDonald

DUBLIN has reached out to the large Indian community by celebrating Diwali's 2013 Festival at several events.

The first event takes place in the Citywest Convention Centre tomorrow, followed by an event at the Mansion House in Dublin tonight.

And the memory of tragic Savita Halappanavar will be marked at a similar festival in Galway today.

Diwali is the most important festival in Hindu culture and is the biggest annual festival in India, lasting for five days. It marks the victory of good over evil and brightness over darkness and is celebrated in Ireland as Diwali – Festival of Lights or Feile na Soilse.


People celebrate diwali by decorating their houses with lights and distributing sweets and gifts.

Attendees at the Citywest will be treated to musical and dance performances from traditional northern Indian Banghra dancers.

And Dublin's Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn will host the Dublin event from 7pm to 9pm and will welcome the Indian community, their friends and guests to celebrate the significant festival.

Meanwhile in Galway, Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar, who lost her life in tragic circumstances, will be remembered at a Diwali festival event at the city's university at 5pm.

The young dentist was 17 weeks pregnant when she began to miscarry and was admitted to Galway University Hospital in October last year.

She was refused a termination and died after complications worsened.

In 2010, she was adjudged the outstanding dancer at the Diwali Festival of Lights in Galway.

She agreed to a request to teach dance to children of the Indian community.

The Galway university has a strong community of Indian students and staff.

Galway City Mayor Padraig Conneely said today's occasion would be tinged with sadness.

"It will be poignant for all of the Indian community as they remember Savita. The anniversary of her death is at this time and she is greatly missed by all who knew her," he said.

"I know that she was an outstanding exponent of traditional Indian dance which is part of the Diwali Festival and everyone in Galway will want to join in remembering her at this time."