Sam Maguire bells ring out a mes­sage of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion

Irish Examiner - County - - News - Eoin English

A set of church bells ded­i­cated to iconic GAA fig­ure Sam Maguire rang out a mes­sage of hope and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion across West Cork last week.

The Sam Maguire Com­mu­nity bells pro­ject in Dun­man­way, the brain­child of the lo­cal Church of Ire­land rec­tor, Rev­erend Cliff Jef­fers, brought the lo­cal com­mu­nity to­gether in a bid to set the tone for the com­ing cen­te­nar­ies in Ire­land of the War of In­de­pen­dence and the Civil War.

Sam Maguire, a mem­ber of the lo­cal Church of Ire­land par­ish in Dun­man­way, gives his name to the All Ire­land foot­ball tro­phy.

The bells — six re­stored and two new ones en­graved with Sam Maguire’s name and dates (1877 to 1927) — rung out for the first time the week­end be­fore last with the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Right Rev­erend Dr Paul Colton, in at­ten­dance along­side the Bishop of Cork and Ross, the Most Rev­erend Dr John Buck­ley, the Rev­erend Greg Alexan­der of the Methodist Church in Ire­land, as well as Archdea­con Adrian Wilkin­son, the Very Rev­erend Ted Collins, PP, and lo­cal lay reader, Sam Jen­nings.

Pres­i­dent of the GAA Aogán O’Fearghail de­liv­ered an ora­tion at the grave­side of Sam Maguire in which he hailed the pro­ject as “an op­por­tune time to be­gin a process of heal­ing, rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and for­give­ness”.

In a spe­cial ser­mon, Bishop Colton called for a sen­si­tive and hon­est ap­proach to the cen­te­nary com­mem­o­ra­tions of the War of In­de­pen­dence and Civil War.

“This pro­ject has set a tone that oth­ers, lo­cally, re­gion­ally and na­tion­ally might do well to note and to em­u­late as we pre­pare: a note of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion; a note of co­op­er­a­tion and part­ner­ship; a note of di­a­logue; and a note of op­por­tu­nity of com­mu­nity build­ing for the fu­ture,” he said.

Pic­ture: Andy Gib­son

St Mary’s Church, Dun­man­way held a multi-de­nom­i­na­tional thanks­giv­ing ser­vice re­cently for the new set of bells (in hon­our of Sam Maguire) which were in­stalled in its bell tower. Pic­tured in the bell ringers room be­fore the ser­vice were: Ger Lane, Chair­man GAA Cork County Board; Tracy Kennedy, Vice Chair GAA Cork County Board; Aogán O’Fearghail, GAA Pres­i­dent; Rev Cliff Jef­fers; Canon Ted Collins; Paul Colton, Church of Ire­land Bishop of Cork; Cllr De­clan Hur­ley, Cork County Mayor and John Buck­ley, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne & Ross.

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