Talk on Wednesday 27th September @ 8pm The history of the purchase of Benburb Castle Estate in 1946

Our next talk of the year is on the history of the purchase of “Benburb castle estate” in 1946 by Moy-based priests on behalf of Clonfeacle parish and the subsequent sale of the property to an American-based religious order, the Servites, not previously resident in Ireland.

The purchase of this historic property, the site of Shane the Proud’s castle, was big news at the time, not only locally but throughout Ireland. The property’s resale, a mere two years later, to a little-known American-based religious order was again big news. Remember, there had been a large American presence in the area during World War II. The news that the magnificent Bruce Manor House was being converted into a monastery, henceforth known as Benburb Priory, was a constant source of interest locally and further afield.

The official opening of the new monastery on the 300th anniversary of the Battle of Benburb by the newly appointed Dr. John D’Alton, Archbishop of Armagh, soon to be a Cardinal, was attended by some 25,000 people from all over Ireland, including a first-time visit to the new Northern Ireland state by Mr. J.A. Costello, the Taoiseach of the Irish Republic, accompanied by the minister for external affairs, Mr. Séan McBride. The guests also included Mr. Eamon De’Valera, leader of his opposition, and Mr. Frank Aiken. This was an event of both national and international interest.

This year, when seismic changes have already taken place at Benburb Priory and are ongoing, please come along to Benburb Priory on Wednesday, September 27th, @ 8 p.m. to hear James Kane, a local historian and chairperson of the O Neill Country Historical Society, outline the absorbing and compelling details of these fascinating local historical events within living memory. We hope to see you there.

Tea & coffee will be served.