Donnybrook: The Third Patron Saint

Donnybrook:  The Third Patron Saint
by John Myers

The Cathedral of the Youngstown Diocese is named in honor of St. Columba.   Columba is the Latin for the Irish “Columbkille” or “Colmcille”.  The parish of St. Columba was one of the first in Northern Ohio, founded in 1847.  St. Columba later became the Cathedral Parish when the Youngstown Diocese was created in 1943, carved out of the Cleveland Diocese. 

St. Columbkille is considered the Third patron saint of Ireland, along with St. Patrick and St. Brigid.  

St Columba was born in County Derry in 521 of Royal Irish lineage and founded over twenty -five monasteries in Ireland and Scotland, including those at Derry, Durrow and Kells.   

Seeking solitude, Columbkille left with twelve followers and travelled to the remote Celtic Island of Iona on the edge of the North Atlantic to establish an abbey there, now a part of Scotland, but an area the Irish had long been inhabiting.  Iona Abbey was the foundation to evangelize the Picts (Scots) and became the greatest monastery and center of Christian study of the Age. 

The monastery of Iona mastered the art of Illuminated Manuscripts, usually the Psalms or the Gospels.  The Book of Kells is Iona’s most celebrated creation. 

It was at Iona that the Celtic Cross was created and first used.   The Iona Abbey took the lead and with other Irish monasteries, teaching monks were sent out to the continent of Europe, founding some of the cornerstone centers of learning and study on the continent, while laying the seeds of the Enlightenment and taking Europe out of the Dark Ages. His feast day is celebrated on June 9th

Pic Desc: A Mankato stone sculpture of St. Columba, holding the gospels, stands outside the Cathedral of the Youngstown Diocese  

100th Anniversary of the Signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty
It is Time to Go.

December 6th marks the Centenary of the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, one of the most significant dates in Irish history.  After the Easter Uprising in 1916, the election landslide of Sinn Fein in 1918 and the Irish war for Independence (1919 to 1921), the Irish had fought the British to a military stalemate. 

Both sides were exhausted after years of direct conflict, in addition to the general exhaustion of World War I.  Michael Collins (The Big Fella), along with W.T. Cosgrave, Kevin O’Higgins and Arthur Griffith, lead a delegation to London to negotiate with the Brits.   Eamon DeValera chose to stay in Dublin, sending Collins’ team off with the statement that “scapegoats were needed.”   

Prime Minister Lyold George and Winston Churchill lead the British delegation at the talks being held at 10 Downing Street.  Collins and company, ardent Republicans, where still stumbling on the Brit offer of Dominion status, which included an oath to the Crown, and for the possible partition of the Island of Ireland.  

The British leaders made it clear that this was the deal or else all-out war would be unleashed upon Ireland within three days.   Along with the realities of not only renewed war, but a ramped-up war upon the people of Eire, coupled with the promise of a Border Commission to re examine any partition in several years, The Irish Delegation signed The Treaty in the early morning hours of December 6th, 1921, at Number 10 Downing Street.

December 6th is not a day of celebration for Irish Republicans, it certainly is a day to note and reflect.  The Treaty did lead to the creation of the Irish Free State, and ultimately, to the Irish Republic we know and love.

However, it came at a great price, with the ugly scar of the artificially created border by the British on the Island of Ireland that continues to fester today.  This centenary is a milestone, one hopes a milestone to renew efforts to unite, in peace, the people and island of Ireland. 

Congrats to This Year’s St. Patrick’s Day Honorees
All the best to the 2022 United Irish Societies honorees for the Greater Cleveland St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This year’s Grand Marshall will be Thomas F. McManamon Jr., principal of McManamon & Associates Insurance; Irish Mother will be Rita Lally, joined by Inside Co-Chair Patricia Coleman Lavelle and Outside Co-Chair Eileen Mangan Stull.  The theme of the 2022 Parade will be “Ireland’s Scenic Coastlines.”  

Send us your groups or communities 2022 Parade Honoree’s so we can share with all the readers of iIrish.

Aged Whine
Portions of the overindulged Unionist community in the Six Counties continue to ramp up the decibel level of their age-old whine. As the reality of “be careful what ye wish for” sinks in as a result of Unionist leaderships push for Brexit, a new level of desperation has emerged, and foot stomping has commenced.  

“Sir” Jeffrey Donaldson, the leader of the loyalist DUP party, has suggested that the U.K. Government should unilaterally exit (implement Article 16) the N.I. Protocol (Irish Sea trade border).  Such unilateral action by the U.K. would likely lead to an escalating trade war with the E.U.

In the case of such a trade war, the twenty-six County Republic of Ireland economy would be hit hard. 

In addition, David Campbell, Chair of the Loyalist Communities Council, has withdrawn their support for the Good Friday Agreement, a very serious matter, something politically akin to the ‘nuclear option’.  

Most observers on the ground expect U.K.  P.M. Boris J. to invoke Article 16 and leave the Northern Ireland Protocol Agreement.  However, P.M. Boris is very skilled at the game of bluff, and it is hard to see how a trade war with the E.U. and ruptured relations with the U.S.A. as a result has any positive outcome.  Still, foot stomping has worked for the Orange Community in the past, domestic politics could force Boris’s hand to go against wisdom and logic. 

Finucane Honored   
At The recent Ancient Order of Hibernians Presidents Testimonial gathering in Youngstown, Ohio, the AOH awarded the Sean McBride Humanitarian award to Geraldine Finucane, widow of murdered civil rights attorney Patrick Finucane and mother of North Belfast MP, John Finucane, for her years of work seeking to uncover the British collusion in her husband’s assassination, as well as her fight on behalf of the human and civil rights struggle in the Six Counties. 

The award was presented to Ms. Finucane by AOH Vice President Sean Pender and the LAOH Vice President, Marilyn Madigan (Madigan Muses Columnist) on behalf of the Hibernians.  The presentation came at the Testimonial dinner to honor and recognize AOH President Danny O’Connell.

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