Fra Antonio Martelli by Michelangelo Merisi

Solemn Profession of Fra’ Paul Caffrey

I expect time will prove me right when I say few religious occasions I witness will be laden with such historical resonance as the first profession of perpetual religious vows of a Knight of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta to occur in Ireland since the […]

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Meelick church from the gates

Six hundred years at Meelick

Few churches can boast the beautiful rural setting enjoyed by St. Francis’ Church at Meelick on the western bank of the River Shannon. Similarly few may boast the same long and rich history of this church, which this year celebrates six hundred years in existence. Founded originally as a Franciscan friary, the last remaining Franciscan […]

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Mrs. French, gifted with so fine an ear

Frustrated with a vigorous mind trapped within an aging body, the poet W.B. Yeats climbed to the top of his tower in County Galway, and, ‘under the day’s declining beam’ stared out over the surrounding countryside. From the height of his tower’s battlements the landscape resonated with images and memories from his and the region’s past, images he […]

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The forgotten tomb of Nicholas Hannon

Ivy now surrounds the remains of the tomb of Nicholas Hannon and his wife Rayneta Madden, that thick mature ivy that grows between the crevices and joints of ancient stonework and over time destroys its host. It is a sad sight now to see this tomb in such an advanced state of neglect. When built in […]

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Fr Michael Byrne in the Sacristy

St. Anthony of Padua and Galway

The traders who had the foresight to set up stall at the Cathedral gates must have made a fortune selling lilies in Galway this morning. Today the relics of the celebrated St. Anthony of Padua were brought to Galway Cathedral for veneration and the florists at the gate, mindful of the flower’s long association with […]

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donkey's head

The Great October Fair and Napoleon’s horse

The Great October Horse Fair at Ballinasloe and its associated festival lasts for about a week, this year running from Saturday 28th September to Sunday 6th October. The photographs below were taken on the first Sunday and final Saturday of the Festival, two of its busiest days. I missed the show jumping on the first […]

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snapped tree trunk at the avenue to the Bishop's Palace and House of Prrayer

‘The trees were dancing’

It was with astonishment that I read the telephone message from my brother last night to the effect that a tornado had hit Clonfert but our parents were safe. Needless to say I was initially incredulous. Ireland is not known for its extremes of weather and a tornado of any sort is an exceptional occurrence, but as […]

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The Cross of Cairbre Crom

It seems only fitting that when a man’s severed head is re-attached to his body and he is thereupon returned to life, the occasion should be marked in some small way. In the case of Cairbre Crom, the reputed sixth century ancestor of the O Kellys, Maddens, Egans, Kennys, Treacys, Larkins and many of the Gaelic […]

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