1999-08-28 / Columnists

Meet The Irish

by Harry McGuirk

Our picture shows Patrick’s Hill Cork City, a steep hill indeed especially if you are coming up on a push bike. This is an exciting part of town at the bottom of the hill. It would remind you of Dublin’s O’Connell street.

Margie and I made several visits to this area to visit our old friend Father Dominic at the Franciscan Church. He was (we were told) a convert in his early life-we never asked questions. Why should we? He was a frequent visitor to Dublin. He was very jovial; a saint of a man. He used to visit the jails and internment H. Blocks to visit the Republican prisoners. He told is rough stories of The Blanket Men, also the Dirty Protest Campaign. He was very sympathetic to the interned people. He was a great prayer-you always got your request when Dominic prayed for you.

During the bad weather in winter he would travel to the darkest, coldest dreariest parts of Ireland to do the missions for the people who would be cut off from populated people. He never refused the tough assignments. God bless him. Atkinson was his civilian name. His order was the same as Padre Pios and a tough one. The world would never know the sacrifices these many order clergy people, including nuns and brothers and priests, made as a daily offering. Pope John XXII eased things up and brought the church bound with serious effort to God like perfection like Padre Pio. They constantly prayed for the sinners and still do.

We thought for a long time to spotlight Father Dominic Atkinson in "Meet The Irish." He stayed in Rockaway with the Raferty’s at 115 street and said mass there one evening. Also, he made it his American base.

Father Dominic had heart trouble. God rest him-it finally killed him. May he rest in peace. There are many like him. God bless them.

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