Calvary, Omeath

Peter (Rusty) Mallon has spent his adult life as a man on a mission. It is no exaggeration to say that he practically single-handed launched and had funded, over the past three decades the Irish-speaking schools in Newry.

There are stories to be told in that vein – but now is not the time.

Peter’s latest ‘mission’ is in connection with the Rosminians Grotto, Calvary in Omeath which celebrates its centenary in eighteen months time.

To get to the point, he will shortly be launching a series of fund-raising drives to finance much-needed renovations to the property.  It is hoped before the centenary celebrations to have a car park built and tarmacadamed (see diagram) and also to tarmac the Way of the Cross (it is presently ‘pebbled’ and most unsuitable for wheel-chaired pilgrims) and to complete improvements to Father Gentili’s grotto and St Jude’s Shrine.

This is a noble and necessary task that I know will be fulfilled if only because Peter Mallon is determined that it will be so. The second image reproduced here illustrates both the determination and the proposed programme.

Calvary in my youth was the destination for pilgrims from Newry on Summer Sundays. When you got to Omeath (I’m too young to remember the train there – but Peter is not!) there was a fleet of jarveys to ferry you onwards by jaunting car! Though never as crowded now, it is still busy – the older people who pursued their religious devotion at this site are now generally more infirm and continue to pray here on a regular basis.

It must be made easier to park (there is room on the public road for just one car at a time!) and to negotiate the Way of the Cross either by foot or wheelchair.

I will keep you updated on the fund-raising activities and the organising Committee would be grateful for contributions. Peter will keep me informed (bank account number etc) and I’ll pass it on to you.

I hold Peter Mallon in the highest esteem.

He will get there.

We will help him.



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