There was a large turn-out on Monday the 19th August for a special lecture in Myshall exploring ‘Saint Columbanus and the Making of Europe‘, The lecture was organised by Carlow County Museum in partnership with Myshall Muintir na Tíre and the Myshall Community Centre as part of National Heritage Week, and delivered by Dr Alexander O’ Hara, Department of Medieval History, University of St Andrews.
The lecture explored the life and times of St. Columbanus (who was born and raised in Myshall, Carlow), and how his mission took him from there to the north of Ireland to Bangor, Co. Down. From Bangor, Columbanus set off on his great missionary journey to the continent where he founded many monasteries including Luxeuil in France and Bobbio in Italy. Many of Columbanus’ writings survive and they consistently inspire and encourage.
A packed room in Myshall Community Center for the lecture
The lecture looked at the surprising influence of these writings on one such man – Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister and a founding father of the European Union. Following the devastation of World War II, a group of statesmen and scholars from across Europe, including Robert Schuman met in Luxeuil-les-Bains to commemorate the 14th centenary of the birth of St. Columbanus, and to discuss plans for the future of Europe. The founding of the modern European Union can be traced to this gathering.
The evening explored how an Irish immigrant from the edge of Europe was one of the first to voice the concept of a united Europe and the wider impact of the Myshall-born saint on European history.
A wonderful evening was had, with a lively Q&A at the end discussing the life of Columbanus and European politics today – a timely issue, particularly with Brexit, looming so near! Many thanks to all those who attended.
Dr Alexander O Hara
Dr Alexander O’Hara is Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Mediaeval History, University of St Andrews. He is the author of Jonas of Bobbio and the Legacy of Columbanus: Sanctity and Community in the Seventh Century and editor of Columbanus and the Peoples of Post-Roman Europe, both published by Oxford University Press in 2018. Heritage Week is coordinated and managed by the Heritage Council. This event has been shortlisted for a Heritage Council’s Heritage Week 2019 Award.
Recently County Carlow welcomed a delegation from Echternach, Luxembourg, led by Yves Wengler, Mayor of Echternach, as part of the ongoing renewal of friendship between both areas. The highlights of the visit were the signing of a Friendship Agreement between both Councils and the unveiling of the restored early medieval Cross of Rath Melsigi. In AD 690, St. Willibrord, Patron Saint of Luxembourg, First Apostle of the Netherlands, departed County Carlow after spending twelve years at the famed monastic settlement of Rath Melsigi and undertook his mission to the continent. In AD 698 he established his major monastery in the town of Echternach. His monastery also had a scriptorium which over the centuries produced many fabulous manuscripts. Cllr. John Pender, Cathaoirleach of Carlow County Council, led the welcome by Carlow County Council. Continue reading
Carlow County Museum in partnership with Myshall Muintir na Tíre and the Myshall Community Centre presents a free public lecture:
‘Saint Columbanus and the Making of Europe’
This speech was delivered by Dermot Mulligan, Curator of Carlow County Museum, at the celebration of the Feast of St. Molaise/ St. Laserian, St. Laserian’s Cathedral, Old Leighlin. Co. Carlow, Saturday, April 20th* 2019
“Dia diaobh go leir. Thank you to the Very Reverend Tom Gordon, Fr. Pat Hennessy, Parish Priest of Leighlin and to Fr. Tom Lalor, retired Parish Priest of Leighlin, for the invitation to address you this evening. The significance of the occurrence of the Feast of St. Laserian during Holy Week should not be lost on us. Continue reading
On Saturday the 15th June we celebrated Cruinniú na nÓg with two incredible Calligraphy Workshops, presented by Tim O’ Neill.
Tim O’Neill is widely acknowledged to be the finest contemporary calligrapher in Ireland. He is a leading scholarly authority on the subject, and has produced many books including ‘The Irish Hand’, a study of the manuscript tradition in Ireland and ‘Merchants and Mariners in Medieval Ireland’. He is a member of Peannairí, the Association of Irish Calligraphers and the Royal Society of Antiquaries Ireland (RSAI). Continue reading
Tuesday 11th June sees the annual UNESCO World Heritage Status ‘hopping procession’ taking place in Echternach, Luxembourg, in honour of St. Willibrord, their Patron Saint. Over 10,000 people will participate in the procession where they will hop from one foot to the other and they are known as “those who pray with their feet”.
Pilgrims ‘hopping’ in Echternach.
Willibrord, an Anglo-Saxon from Northumbria, England, spent twelve years at Rath Melsigi, Milford, County Carlow, being formed as a missionary monk. He is one of the most important Saints in Europe. In AD 690, Willibrord led a very successful mission to Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, where his impact is evident to this day.
BOTH WORKSHOPS ARE NOW FULLY BOOKED.
Carlow County Museum presents two unique calligraphy art workshops with Tim O’Neill, one of Ireland’s finest calligraphers.
During the workshops, Tim will reveal the secrets of our medieval Celtic designs and students will learn that it’s ‘knot’ difficult to draw these impressive world-famous designs when you know how!
In the 7th and 8th centuries, monasteries in County Carlow were producing fabulous books made of vellum. A number of these books survive to this day, including the Book of Mulling from Saint Mullins and the Calendar of Willibrord from Rath Melsigi, Milford.
Places are limited to 15 students per workshop. Children are asked to bring colouring pencils and/or markers.
Workshop times: 12pm-1pm | 2.30pm-3.30pm
Places must be booked by emailing:
firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the museum on 059 9131554.
This event is part of Cruinniú na nÓg, a day of free creativity for children and young people. For details on other events in Carlow you can visit their website.
The 18th of April marks the feast day of St. Laserian, also known as St. Molaise. He is regarded as one of the 12 apostles of Ireland – these were 12 saints who trained under St. Finian (who was born in Myshall, Carlow) at Clonard Abbey in Meath. He lived during the 6th and 7th centuries and is venerated in both Ireland and Scotland. His name means ‘flame of fire’ – Laserian comes from the Irish ‘lasair’, or light. Molaise is ‘mo lasair‘ or my light. Continue reading
1 April 2019
County Carlow extended the hand of friendship to Chinese partners from the Hunan Province in the People’s Republic of China with an 18 strong delegation visiting the County.
Representatives from Hunan and Carlow in Carlow Town Hall.
On Wednesday 27th March 2019 the Carlow Historical and Archaeological Society held their annual History Project Competition. Entries were received from primary school children all across County Carlow.
Pictured L-R: Pat O’ Neill, President of CHAS; Reuben McCarthy (Third Prize); Kate Somers (First Prize); Kevin McKeon (Second Prize); and Richard Codd, CHAS Committee Member, and Chair of Judging Committee.