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  St Ciarans Day 5th March

St.Ciaran’s Day – Lá le Ciarán 5th March 2015

This year the St Ciarán’s day celebration was presided over the Fr Tómás Ó Caoimh, from Tra Lee and his homily is below.

The photos are of the Blessing of the boats, holy well, planting of a remembrance tree and the festivities in Club Cleire.

 Lá mór do mhuintir  Oileán Chléire is do phobal na hÉireann is ea Lá le Ciarán

For the people of Cape Clear Island off the West Cork coast and for all interested in the roots of Christianity in Ireland today this day is a  big, big day. Ciarán is said to have been the first evangeliser, preacher of the Gospel, in Ireland, along with his brother bishops, Declan of Ardmore, Iberius of Wexford and Ailbhe of Emly. They came long before St Patrick (sorry, Armagh, lots of 7th-8th c. propaganda at work and political shapes being thrown). Ciarán was at work possibly as early as the 3ed c.AD, 200 years to the date given to the coming of Patrick in the Northern half of the Island – all scholars agree on this now.

It all makes sense, Cape Clear is bang smack on the main highway of the sea along the North Atlantic, accessible from Britain, Gaul, Spain, even the Mediterranean, Rome and the Middle East and the cradle of Christianity. We are  in early Patristic times here, think of the links and the possibilities if the 3rd c. date is true?. Travellers, military scouting parties, merchants, adventurers, salves cast adrift, all possible candidates for the bringing of the first seeds of Christianity and wSt Ciarans Day Cape Clearhere else but to the first landfall, Cape Clear ?. Ciarán was born on the beach, his Irish life tells us, between high and low tide. Thus we find in S and W Kerry ( Caherdaniel and Feothanach) wells filled with sea water and fresh water. Ciarán is a typical Irish saint and hero, born on he “limen”, the threshold between worlds. Thus his wells are found “idir dhá taoide”, between high and low tide on the very edge of the world….. between worlds. Maye Shaun Davey could compose Rita Connolly could sing and Seán Óg Ó Floinn could play about this …..

So was the first Mass in Ireland said on Cape Clear? Makes sense !. Ciarán may have made his way to Kinnity in Ossory Diosese on the slopes of the Slieve Blooms for this main foundation but his origins and people areSt Ciarans Day Cape Clear Island 2015 firmly on Cape Clear. Mass is still celebrated ( delighted and honoured to be presiding this year), boats are blessed and the turas or paters in followed at Ciaráns Well and Gallán and this year thanks to the ferry from Baltimore there is a group of pilgrims as Trá Lí… agus Sri Lanka agus Holland


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