It’s more difficult to get out than to stay in. Only that ‘life’ happens outside.

This morning, we needed to ‘negotiate’ with a brick layer to get out of the house — our side entrance is being widened a bit to make room for Pádraig’s wheelchair.

We went to Croke Park to attend a ceremony in which an Irish flag was given to every post primary school in Ireland, as part of the 1916 (Easter Rising) celebrations. (This year, Ireland is celebrating 100 years of the declaration of the Irish Republic.)

It must have been the coldest morning on record. And the wheelchair spot in Croke Park must be the windiest and coldest spot in the whole of this magnificent 80,000 seater stadium.

Notwithstanding the cold, it was brilliant morning. We saw the President arriving with a motorcade of what looked like two dozen motorbikes. He gave a great speech about the vision the signatories of the proclamation had for the Republic they declared that Easter Sunday. And how much of this vision still remains to be realised.

Ryan Tubridy, one of Ireland’s best know broadcasters was leading us through the different parts of the ceremony. Seo Linn and the army band were playing. The national anthem was played. An actor explained what the ‘inventor’ of the flag Thomas Francis Meagher had in mind when he came up with the idea of the tricolour.

It was a brilliant day. For Pádraig and myself the first event we attended as part of the 1916 celebrations. – And tonight, we watched it all again on the telly.

On the way back up Clonliffe Road, crossing Drumcondra Road, and walking up St Alphonsus Road, I was thinking that everybody who doesn’t know Pádraig yet will get to know him around here. We will be out and about. How brilliant is that?

PS: Any ‘volunteer’ for the outing on Wednesday afternoon, at around 2.30, for about 2 hours?