SARAH DEMPSEYIRELAND / 2022
SECTION OF DRESS: Shamrock
An Honouring of Sarah’s Irish Roots
I was born in Germany into an Army family, for the first six years of my life we were rootless going wherever we were sent until I finally ended up in Epsom living with my grandparents. My grandad was Irish, born in 1898 in Watling Street, Dublin 8, in the slum tenements right by St James Gate and the Guinness brewery. My grandmother’s family had come over to England during the potato famine in the 1850's and settled in Berkshire. My Grandad, who was a jockey, left Ireland in the early 1920's, he went to Ascot and met my grandmother, later settling in Epsom because of the horse racing connection, I have always strongly identified with my Irish family and I'm very proud of those roots. Eventually I met my husband whose cultural background is Irish and Lithuanian. He also identifies strongly with his Irish side and his Dublin roots, and our surname, Dempsey is Irish, in Gaelic 'O Diomasaigh' means proud man. My RSN goldwork frame was the Dempsey coat of arms. I'm very proud of my Irish roots.
I embroidered a shamrock on the red dress. This is a symbol of Ireland used by St Patrick and represents the Holy Trinity in the Catholic faith. It has become synonymous with the celebration of St Patrick's Day. Sláinte!
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