Head of Ireland’s senate visits Peace Memorial Museum, says he will convey thoughts of A-bomb survivors to Irish public

by Kyoko Niiyama, Staff Writer

On February 11, Paddy Burke, 59, president of Ireland’s senate, visited Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and toured Peace Memorial Museum.

After offering flowers to the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims, Mr. Burke and five fellow senators, guided by museum director Kenji Shiga, studied a panoramic model of the city of Hiroshima in the aftermath of the atomic bombing and such artifacts as roof tiles whose surface melted in the heat of the blast.

At the International Conference Center Hiroshima, they listened to the testimony of Tomiko Matsumoto, 81, a resident of Saeki Ward, who experienced the atomic bombing at a school yard at the age of 13. Hearing such scenes as rivers clogged with the dead and injured, Mr. Burke said that he will convey the A-bomb survivors’ desire for peace after he returns to Ireland.

The group of Irish lawmakers arrived in Japan on February 9 at the invitation of Masaaki Yamazaki, president of Japan’s Upper House. Prior to their visit to Peace Memorial Museum, they met with Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui. Mr. Burke reportedly had expressed his desire to visit the A-bombed city.

(Originally published on February 12, 2014)