Radio Producer Brian Kenny travels to China to tell the story of the original Ireland-China connection: the daring and often dangerous mission to the East of a small group of Irish Columban priests, in: In God’s Garden
After a chance meeting with a Canadian priest while in the USA, Edward Galvin travelled to China and began a journey which was to later alter the course of his any many Irish men and women lives forever. It was the beginning of what he and John Blowick would later form as The Maynooth Mission to China and what would eventually evolve into the Columban Missionaries.
The Columbans would go on to have many martyrs, murdered kidnapped and disappeared across the world while working with the poor and marginalized and staying true to their motto of being with the people. It all began however as a mission to China in the early 1900s, a place that couldn’t have been more alien to the young Irishmen and women who undertook this voyage.
From devastating floods to bandits or rebels they were never far from danger and carried on this way until their expulsion when Communist China came to be.
In this documentary Brian Kenny travels from Dalgan Park in Co Meath where he meets the only remaining member of the original mission, a 98 year old Fr Dan Fitzgerald. From their Brian makes his way through Hong Kong and on to China passing through Beijing before reaching modern day Wuhan, the area where the Columbans were based.
Here he meets Columbans who have been working back in China since the 80s although in a different capacity and in a very new China. We meet with local Chinese clergy who tell both the legacy of the Columbans and the story of their future as Christians in a modern China.
‘In God’s Garden’ was broadcast on Newstalk 106-108fm on, Saturday 24th January at 7am, and repeated at 10am on Sunday 25th January.
CREDITS: ‘In Gods Garden’ was Produced by Brian Kenny with the assistance of Malachy Smyth. The programme was Edited by Brian Kenny.
BROADCAST DETAILS: ‘In God’s Garden’ and can be listened to live online at www.newstalk.com. Podcast available at: www.newstalk.com/documentaryonnewstalk .