Friends of Columbanus continues to thrive

Photograph L-R
Front row
Brigid Watson, Secretary; David Lennon, Vice Chairman; Deborah Girvan, Chairwoman; Cllr Martin McRandal, Treasurer; Maire Foley, Committee Member

Back Row
Karen Douglas, Committee Member; Cllr Cadogan Enright, Lobbyist; Frances O’Tainaigh, Committee Member; Sharon Kayes, Education Officer; Barbara Boyle, Committee Member; Adeline Cully, Committee Member; and Emma Coulter, European Officer.

At the  recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Friends of Columbanus Bangor, Deborah Girvan, chairwoman, delivered her annual report stating that 2023 had been another busy year. Activities included walks, talks, lobbying local politicians, workshops and events. She remarked that four events stood out: the launch of the Columban Way Mapping Project in June; the visit to St Gallen, Switzerland, for the handover of 1,146 signatures from Northern Ireland to support the Columban Charter of Partnership in July; the visit of 46 Bretons who arrived in Bangor to explore our Columbanus heritage in September; and the annual Columbanus Festival in November. 

She said, “I am delighted that all the current committee members have been re-elected for the incoming year and that three new members have joined the Executive Committee including Karen Douglas, former Mayor of Ards and North Down; Emma Coulter, a teacher at Bangor Academy who was appointed to a new post as European Officer; and local resident Frances O’Tianaigh. 

 We already have a lot of events lined up starting with a talk by Dr Damian Bracken entitled ‘Ireland and the Birth of Europe’ on 22 February at Carnegie Library, Bangor.   We are working with our colleagues in the Republic of Ireland to plan a walk along the Columban Way from Bunclody, Co Carlow, to Bangor, Co Down during the month of April/beginning of May. This will be the first time that groups of people will walk the full length of the Columban Way, a journey of 400 miles, on the island of Ireland.”

For further information on the work of Friends of Columbanus Bangor, and how to join, please visit

Kindest regards

Deborah Girvan

Chair Friends of Columbanus Bangor