Video 'Jonal' - #26

If it's March, this must be Ireland

In 2001 my son Michael and I traveled to England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, venturing into Northern Ireland for my first visit (it was Mike's first internattional tour, excluding Mexico) in that "dangerous part" of Ireland. This approximately nine-minute video retraces our visit to the Scottish Island of Iona, considered by many one of the most "spiritual" or holy places in the world. From here, a century after St. Patrick evangelized Ireland, an Irish monk came to set up a monastery in the ocean "desert," as a pennance for a killing he had been involved with, and from here he began the evangelization of Scotland, marking the first time Christians had made major inroads in the Pictish tribes then inhabiting the rugged highland country of the British Isle. After St. Columba (or Colm, as his name is rendered in the Irish tongue, Gaelic) Irish flooded into Scotland and made it populous for the first time (the Picts being rather sparsely scattered in what is now Scotland). The Stone of Scone, on which all Scottish kings were later crowned, was instituted by St. Columba, so he is truly known as the founder and Apostle of Scotland. Next, the video moves to Belfast, the city which is now, but not so much at that time, at peace after warfare back and forth between Protestants and Catholics for generations. We took a bus tour that took us into the Protestant "war zone," Shankill, a boulevard leading up to the Parliament building (Stormont Palace), and other sites. Then we moved on to Armagh, which was the seat of St. Patrick's bishopric as the leader of all Christians in Ireland in the fifth century A.D. Finally, we visit the Cliffs of Moher, in the Republic of Ireland, south of Galway, The cliffs rise about 1000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. And my son Mike is the guy on the right atop the cliff elbowing his way to the edge to get better pictures. The area is cordoned off but, as you can see, many disregard the warning signs, and I couldn't believe Mike became one of them!

(Note, several short clips from the Armagh segment were included in last year's Video Jonal, "St. Patrick's Ireland")

— Jon Kennedy



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2009 Jon Kennedy

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