e-book Columbas Iona: A new history

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Visitors are welcomed all year round and can participate in daily worship led by the Iona Community.

BOOK 3: “ISLAND-PILGRIM”

Only a small community of nuns would have lived here, and the ruins are important in that they show so well how such a foundation was designed. The church is on the north side of a quadrangle, the centre of which served as a cloister.


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Opposite the church are the remains of the Refectory, while those of the Chapter House are on the east side. The buildings have been ruinous for nearly three hundred years though enough survives to make the Nunnery both romantic and interesting. The peace that the nuns must have enjoyed can still be appreciated in the lovely gardens of the cloister.

The Chapel has been re-roofed to house many of the interesting carved stones that were formerly scattered about the surrounding area. A very detailed history of the parish, and the wider area, was published by The Centenary Committee in Heart of Iona-A People, A Parish, A Place is available through the parish office, and has two hundred and twenty-five pages of local history, covering such nationally important sites within the parish such as Glasnevin Cemetery and the National Botanic Gardens.

It also details parish groups over the years, social and cultural history and sport, and much more besides!

Columba's Iona: A new history

The establishment of the Parish of St. Columba, and the construction of the present church, is tied up with the development and expansion of the new areas of Drumcondra and Glasnevin in the late 19th century. Acquiring a site, in a district where most of the land lay in the hands of Protestants, led Fr. John Byrne to the Redemptoristine Sisters in St.

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Founding of the Iona Community

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