Each year the Order of Knights of St Columbanus gather at the little parish church of St Patrick’s at Ballyvoy, outside Ballycastle, on the first Sunday in May to celebrate the life of our founder, Canon O’Neill. This has always been an opportunity for Knights from across the island to come together to celebrate his life and his input in the creation of our Order. The Councils of Area 2 take responsibility for the organisation of the event each year which includes mass, followed by wreath laying ceremony in the adjoining graveyard where Canon O’Neill is buried.

This year, as last year, saw the cancellation of the national event due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But, abiding by social distance rules and government guidance, a select group of Knights from Area 2 joined with our Supreme Knight, Brother Brendan McCann to lay a wreath at the tomb of Canon O’Neill.

The Knights officiating were Provincial Area 2 officers, Brother Eamon Duffin, PGK, Brother Seamus Monaghan, DPGK, Brother Philip Brennan, Chancellor, along with the Supreme Knight Brendan McCann.

Also attending this years ceremony was Marcus O’Neill the great nephew of Canon O’Neill and Frank Rogers, local historian and author who wrote and published the Life of Canon O’Neill, and Fr. Con Boyle PP, St Patrick’s, Ballyvoy.

This years mass will be celebrated online on Sunday 9th May from the oratory in the O’Neill Centre, Belfast, and will celebrated by Fr. Henry McCann, Provincial Chaplain for Area 2.