Commemorative stone marker honours memory of First Columban Sisters.

The mist, so typical of mornings at Cahiracon, had given way to gentle sunshine as three Columban Sisters, Barry Wrafter, fine art sculptor and Mr. and Mrs Gerard Hannon arrived at the curved wall along the coast road leading to Labasheeda. All six had come to honour the memory of the women who, in 1922, had come together in Clifton House, re-named St. Brigid’s, to be founding members of a new missionary congregation. Sisters Anne Ryan, Congregational Leader of the Columban Sisters, Ita Hannaway and Patricia Quigley had come from the Motherhouse of the Congregation in Magheramore, Wicklow. Barry Wrafter, had come from Ennis, while the Hannons had come from a few fields away.

cahirweb1 The focus of attention was a commemorative stone marker, designed and created by Barry Wrafter. Wrought of blue limestone, with distinctive, hand-cut, raised Congregational logo and inset lettering, also hand-cut, it records the dates of the inauguration of the Congregation and of the departure of the first Sisters for China. Framed by a raised border simulating the reeds and Celtic cross knot as in a St. Brigid’s cross, it rises a small distance over the wall in which it is inserted.
When all had taken time to examine and express happiness with the completed marker, Sister Anne blessed the stone and remembered in prayer those in whose memory it was erected as well as giving thanks for all who had contributed to its beautiful completion. blessingweb
ann_gerard hannonweb Earlier in the year Sister Ita initiated this project by visiting with and obtaining permission for the marker from Gerard and Ann Hannon, present owners of the land where St. Brigid’s once stood. The Hannons agreed graciously to the insertion of the memorial in their wall, and facilitated the satisfactory outcome of the work. On the day of the blessing, as they had done on every earlier occasion, they provided much appreciated refreshments before their visitors took the road home.
The project came to fruition after Sister Ita had discovered Clare-born fine art sculptor, Barry Wrafter, and commissioned him to design, carve and set the marker in place. Barry Wrafter is well-known in parts of Ireland as well as in Europe for his wide knowledge of stone and his ability to choose stone suited to each location for which it is commissioned. His sensitive response to the needs of his clients is widely recognised as is his creative skill in carrying out commissions. sculptorweb

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