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Knights of Saint Columbanus

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Title: Knights of Saint Columbanus  
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Subject: Chaplain of His Holiness, Abbot, Military ordinariate, Priesthood (Catholic Church), Protopriest
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Knights of Saint Columbanus

Knights of Saint Columbanus
Abbreviation KSC
Motto To restore all things in Christ
Formation 1915
Type Catholic Fraternal organization
Headquarters Ely House, Ely Place, Dublin
Supreme Knight
Barry C. MacMahon
Key people
James Kearney O'Neill

The Fraternal organization for lay men over twenty-one years of age.


The order is divided into 12 Provincial Areas covering the island of [1]

Involvement in Irish politics

Political scientist and historian [2] According to Garvin, President Seán T. O'Kelly was a member, much to the displeasure of Éamon de Valera.

Noël Browne, a controversial politician and former minister, criticised the Knights' political role in Dáil debates:

  • On elections to Hospital Boards: "On the Catholic side it is done through the Knights of Columbanus and on the Protestant side it is done through the Freemasons. It is completely undemocratic."[3]
  • "What we should like to know is, in the event of a Multi-Party government being formed, which party would be the real government? Would it be a Fine Gael government? Would it be a Labour government? Would it be a Labour Party policy - or would it be a Knight of Columbanus policy?"[4]
  • "In regard to the whole business of appointments [to the Universities], I do not think there is much to choose between the two of them—the Knights of Columbanus predominantly in University College and the Freemasons in Trinity College— and the two of them going on together presumably sharing out the different jobs to suit themselves."[5]
  • "There are still diehards of my generation within the profession but the new intake is not only extremely highly qualified but is better qualified because you cannot get into a consultant situation and then into a position as a consultant in a hospital unless you are extremely well qualified now because of the appointments system. It is no longer confined, as it was in the old days, to the Knights of Columbanus on the Catholic side and the Freemason Order on the other side."[6]

In the Seanad, William Bedell Stanford was also critical:

  • "One of the things that is doing most damage to our nation at the moment is the existence of these conflicting secret societies [interpreted as meaning the Freemasons and the Knights] and I hope the Minister and the other Minister will do all in their power to prevent their gaining any control of the national economy, or the politics of the country."[7]

More recently, [9]

See also


  1. ^ Knights of Saint Columbanus website
  2. ^ McCormack, Blackwell Companion to Modern Irish Culture (2001) p. 524.
  3. ^ Dáil Éireann 10 June 1953
  4. ^ Dáil Éireann 1 July 1953
  5. ^ Dáil Éireann 16 July 1969
  6. ^ Dáil Éireann 18 Oct 1977
  7. ^ Seanad Éireann 28 Nov 1956
  8. ^ Fintan O'Toole and Kieran Rose, The Evaluation of Gay and Lesbian Politics in Ireland (Cork, 1994) p. 29.
  9. ^ Multi-Denominational Schools in the Republic of Ireland 1975-1995, Professor Áine Hyland, paper given at Conference Education and Religion organised by C.R.E.L.A. at the University of Nice. 21–22 June 1996, Educate Together

External links

  • Official web site of the Knights of Saint Columbanus
  • International Alliance of Catholic Knights
  • Drumbo & Carryduff Council of Knights of St Columbanus

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