• LOCATION 24 | Derrie Danders: A Guide to the Quayside and North City

    The life of St Columba

    Continue walking down Strand Road and I'll tell you more about the life of St Columba.

    While St Columba had been successful in establishing his monasteries, unfortunately a quarrel occurred with his old teacher St Finnian.
    During his tutelage, he had copied one of the sacred manuscripts as part of his training, but he kept the copy. St Finnian disputed this and the dispute was brought before the local king. In what is sometimes regarded as the first copyright trial in history, the king found in favour of St Finnian in his judgement "to every cow its calf, to every book its copy". But that was not the end to the matter as the local people took sides and eventually a war broke out and up to 3000 people were killed in a battle near Sligo.

    Columba was uneasy about what had happened and decided to go into exile in Scotland and win for Christ at least 3000 souls to make up for those who had died in the dispute. He left the city in a boat like the currach in the sculpture. This he did easily as the monastery in Iona was very successful.
    There are many legends about St Columba and his time in Scotland, including him meeting the Loch Ness monster. It was also his monastery in Iona that was responsible for producing the famous book of Kells, an illustrated version of the gospels that can now be seen in Trinity College, and is well worth seeing should your travels take you to Dublin.

    Another story is that St Columba was invited back to Ireland in the 590's to take part in an ecclesiastical conference, but he had pledged never to walk on Irish soil again. He managed to get around this, by placing some sods of Scottish soil between his feet and his sandals and thereby returning and not walking on Irish soil. Whether these stories are true or not, St Columba left his legacy in the city with many churches,schools,roads,parks all bearing his name.

    Keep walking along Strand Road.

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Derrie Danders: A Guide to the Quayside and North City