Search Results for 'Pat Lavelle'

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The priest who robbed the National Museum

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With March zooming off into the distance, our gratitude to St Patrick for giving us the opportunity to be an island of saints and scholars begins to wane. But no such relief was given to the saint himself. Our forebears couldn’t wait till he died before they were taking bits and pieces from his body and clothes for relics. As his teeth fell out they were snatched up, and given as sacred objects to make early Christian churches more attractive for a deeply spiritual and suspicious people, who had recently set aside their gods of nature, and embraced a more intangible Christ. An old holy tooth was just the sort of tangibility they could understand. At least one church, Cill Fiacail (‘The church of the tooth’) near the town of Tipperary, bears testimony to this bizarre but common practice.

The priest who robbed the National Museum

With March zooming off into the distance, our gratitude to St Patrick for giving us the opportunity to be an island of saints and scholars begins to wane. But no such relief was given to the saint himself. Our forebears couldn’t wait till he died before they were taking bits and pieces from his body and clothes for relics. As his teeth fell out they were snatched up, and given as sacred objects to make early Christian churches more attractive for a deeply spiritual and suspicious people, who had recently set aside their gods of nature, and embraced a more intangible Christ. An old holy tooth was just the sort of tangibility they could understand. At least one church, Cill Fiacail (‘The church of the tooth’) near the town of Tipperary, bears testimony to this bizarre but common practice.

Victims of a sectarian war

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Even though it was in the furthermost parish of Archbishop MacHale’s large Tuam archdiocese, once he realised the permanency and the extent of the Protestant settlement on Achill Island (built and directed by the fervent Rev Edward Nangle in the 1830s),* the archbishop was consumed with fury. He waged a belated but rather terrifying campaign to have it scorned and ignored by the island’s 6,000 residents.

'The lifeboat is part of Galway'

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Galway’s character is defined by the currents and tides of river and sea and by the constant hum and variety of human activity all along those waters. Among the many ships and vessels, large and small, leisure and commercial, that ply those eddies, surely one of the most important is the RNLI Galway Lifeboat which operates out of its station on New Docks.

 

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