St Patrick: 'an inspiration for all?'


A unique public event will take a fresh look at the life of St Patrick and the Ireland of his time, to find inspiration that all can celebrate. One of the speakers is Bishop of Clogher, Right Revd John McDowell.

St Patrick: 'an inspiration for all? will take place in The Killyhevlin Hotel Enniskillen on Tuesday 29th October at 7.30pm.

St Patrick: 'an inspiration for all? is the latest in what has become a popular series of public events organised by local Churches and County Fermanagh Grand Orange Lodge, designed to promote helpful discussion on important issues. It has arisen out of dialogue that has taken place between County Fermanagh Grand Orange Lodge, the Church of Ireland Diocese of Clogher, as well as local Methodists and Presbyterians.

The speakers will include the Church of Ireland Bishop of Clogher, the Right Revd John McDowell and the retired Roman Catholic Bishop of Clogher, Bishop Joseph Duffy.

The first speaker will be Bishop McDowell. He has tried to understand Patrick’s way of thinking and believing as he has considered his work over the years. He will trace the outlines of Patrick’s faith, including his life changing experiences of captivity and calling.

The second speaker, Bishop Duffy, is a respected scholar of early Ireland and is also the translator of St Patrick’s Confessions, one of the only two pieces of writing which can be ascribed to Patrick with confidence. He will speak on ‘Understanding the Ireland Patrick lived in’.

There will be an opportunity for questions from the floor, before the evening finishes with refreshments.

Speaking ahead of the event, Bishop John McDowell said, “Most of us have a picture of St Patrick in our head. It would be nearly impossible not to have given the tens of thousands of pictures and statues of which abound in every corner of Ireland. By and large he’s like what we want him to be.”

He continued, “In reality (or in history which is not quite the same thing) he is much more difficult to pin down. Lots has been written about him but not much by him. And he needs to be allowed to speak for himself.”

The County Grand Master of County Fermanagh Grand Orange Lodge, Wor. Bro. Paul Stevenson said, “St Patrick lived 1600 years ago and is still celebrated today, with each of us having our own perspective on him. We hope this evening will benefit every member of our community, as we discuss and reflect on this major figure the history of Christianity in Ireland.”

He added, “We warmly invite every member of our community to this free public event.’

St Patrick: ' an inspiration for all? will take place on Tuesday 29th October in The Lisgoole Suite, The Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen. It will begin at 7.30pm and admission is free. All sections of the community are warmly invited.

The organisers wish to recognise the support of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as well as the Centre for Studies in Irish Protestantism (Maynooth University).