Blessed Margaret Ball was a daughter of Nicholas Bermingham of Corballis in the barony of Skreen, Co. Meath. She was one of the seventeen Irish martyrs beatified by Pope John Paul in 1992. The seventeen were a representative group chosen from among hundreds in Ireland who gave their lives for the Catholic faith between the years 1537 and 1714. A huge number of priests and lay people suffered much in Ireland during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and those of her immediate successors, as well as during the era of Oliver Cromwell. However, the details of their endurance in most cases have been lost. Religious persecution of Catholics in Ireland began under Henry VIII, when the English Parliament adopted the first of the Acts of Supremacy which established the king’s supremacy over the church, independent of the pope. In England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland bishops, priests and lay people who continued to recognise the pope were tortured and killed. Further legislation laid down that any act of allegiance to the pope was to be considered treason. Many Catholics were imprisoned on this basis, including Blessed Margaret Ball.
This lecture will look at the Ball family, and events in the lifespan of a Mayoress and mother who died of deprivation in the dungeons of Dublin Castle in 1584.
Kevin Mac Namidhe is Station Director of P5tv – the first of Ireland’s Community Television Stations, based in Navan, Co Meath. This unique television station broadcasts daily Mass from St. Mary’s, Navan parish church world-wide, and is responsible for the live pictures broadcast from St. Mary’s adoration chapel daily on the www.
Kevin held the position of Director at Drogheda Samaritans and Vice-chair of the organisation in the UK and Ireland, and has been working with other organisations throughout Ireland to highlight mental health issues and address the stigma attached to emotional distress, suicidal behaviour and mental illness.
He is a local historian and was responsible for the Blessed Margaret Ball, Patron, exhibition stand at the 2012 International Eucharistic Congress held in Dublin.
He is at present completing a television documentary programme on the history of Navan, which is due to be aired on Province 5 Television.