Yoko Ono certainly made the most of the couple of days she spent in Dublin last week. She was in the city to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Dublin Biennial Exhibition, where she showcased one of her art installations called “Wish Tree for Ireland.”
John Lennon’s widow spoke movingly of her husband’s love for his ancestral home. She also made it her business to learn more about Irish Famine emigrants, and visited the grave of the famous Irish political leader Daniel O’Connell for whom O’Connell Street in Dublin is named.
"John, who sometimes considered himself 100% Irish, would have loved to see me honored in this way by the city he loved," she said. Ono, 79, also said that “there is a special connection between Ireland and me.”
Her first trip to Ireland was back in the sixties, before she became Lennon’s wife. “Ireland was sort of like an auntie or mother that he wanted to show me,” she recalled.
On Friday morning she visited the crypt of O’Connell at Glasnevin Cemetery on her way to the airport and received a private tour. She was full of questions about O’Connell, according to reports, and left a large bouquet of flowers as a remembrance. She even used Instagram to tweet a photo of herself at the cemetery to her more than two million Twitter followers.
“I am praying for the soul of Daniel O'Connell. May he rest in peace. May his life history be told to us all and add to our energy of activism,” she noted.
“She said that she would love to have some more time and would return for a longer visit the next time she was in town,” Glasnevin Cemetery historian Shane MacThomais said. “Her interest in Irish history was inspiring and her humanity was evident in her responses.”
Ono’s quest to learn more about Irish struggles also took her out to sea, where she posted an Instagram photo of herself in Dun Laoghaire, at the ferries on their way to England.
“I wanted to know how they felt when they took the ferry from here to Liverpool, during the Famine, leaving their country to go to where they would have food to eat,” Ono posted on her Instagram.
“Some Irish people died before getting on the ferry, some died on the ferry. Those who made it to Liverpool were not welcomed with open arms . . . if you are Irish or half-Irish, you should visit here one day, and have kind thoughts for the one who couldn't make it.”
There’s no denying that Ono is an extremely interesting woman, even though some Beatles fans may never forgive her for allegedly causing the breakup of the band.