Saturday, 18 February 2017

REMARKABLE WISH OF 107 YEAR OLD PRESBYTERIAN

Remarkable dying wish of 107-year-old Presbyterian granted as rebel Catholic priest will today bury her
By Suzanne Breen
PUBLISHED18/02/2017

Independent Catholic cleric, Pat Buckley, has today buried 108-year-old Ballyclare Presbyterian in a remarkable cross-community service.
Peggy Dunbar, who is believed to have been Northern Ireland's oldest woman, took a shine to the rebel priest when he married her eldest daughter over 25 years ago.

She never forgot him and her last wish was that he bury her. Mrs Dunbar died of pneumonia on Tuesday. Her body has lain at rest in Bishop Buckley's church, the Oratory, in Larne.
Her funeral service will take place today and she will be buried afterwards in Victoria Cemetery in Carrickfergus.s
"I am honoured to have been asked to bury Peggy," Bishop Buckley told the Belfast Telegraph. "In a narrow Northern Ireland, she has made a quiet, simple gesture of non-sectarianism.
"She was open, tolerant and cross-community minded, and she is going out of this world the way she lived."
Mrs Dunbar's daughter Judith said that her mother had died just six days before her 108th birthday. "My mother was a remarkable woman. She lived through two World Wars and the sinking of the Titanic," Judith said.


"She never left the island of Ireland - she didn't fancy flying and she didn't like the water so that ruled out boats as well. But the fact that she chose not to travel didn't in any way make her narrow-minded.
"She was totally non-judgmental and she had a great sense of fun. Mum didn't drink but she'd be happy, sitting with her mineral, in the company of those who did."
Peggy Melville was born on February 20, 1909 in Whiterock in Belfast which was then just countryside. The daughter of a publican, she had three sisters and one brother.
In 1936, she married Ballyclare farm worker, John Dunbar, whom she had met at a cricket club. They had two daughters. John died after falling from a ladder in 1959 aged 44.
Although born a Presbyterian, Peggy Dunbar occasionally attended St Patrick's Church of Ireland in Jordanstown because she liked the singing.
"Mum grew up playing the piano and the violin. She loved singing and dancing. Just three weeks before her death, her foot was tapping away when there was music on the radio," Judith said.
"Mum had interests you would never expect. She loved watching Formula 1, football, rugby and racing on the TV. She was very active right into her 90s. She would be out working in her garden in Ballyclare until dark.
"She loved to bake too. I still remember the smell of the most gorgeous tarts, pies and pancakes filling the kitchen as a child and my big sister Joan standing there licking the bowl."
Judith said that her mother had been thrilled to be sent €2,500 from Irish President, Mary McAleese, when she turned 100 as everyone born on the island of Ireland before partition is entitled to. She received a medal from Aras an Uachtarain every birthday after that.
"This year's medal from President Michael D Higgins arrived the day after mum died, it was very poignant opening it," Judith said.
Mrs Dunbar also received cards from the Queen on her 100th, 106th and 107th birthdays. The oldest person ever from Northern Ireland is believed to have been Belfast woman Elizabeth Watkins, who reached the ripe old age of 110 before she died in 1973.
Bishop Buckley last night said that it was "an immense privilege" for him to be asked to conduct the funeral service.


"Peggy was born five years before the outbreak of the First World War and she was 44 when the Second World War broke out. She was literally walking history," he said.
Bishop Buckley first met Mrs Dunbar when he married her daughter Joan to Seamus Tansey from Sligo, one of Ireland's best known flute players who taught dancer Michael Flatley to play the instrument.
"I remember Peggy from the wedding. She took people just as she found them and she was a character, a bit like myself," Bishop Buckley recalled.
"My door is always open to people of all religions and none. Asking me to bury her is a lovely gesture.

"Without making any great noises, Peggy embodied the spirit of reconciliation in life and in death."

21 comments:

  1. What a fantastic lady. Just shows that the Christian saints come in all varieties and traverse all denominations.

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  2. Anymore developments Pat on the Omeath/Carlingford Confirmation fiasco? There is considerable unease that the Archbishop of Armagh is engaging in a no show! He seems to be sending Fr Sweeney as his deputy.

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    1. The word on the street is that there is a massive new clerical scandal brewing in Armagh and Eamon Martin is not coping well with it.

      I do not know if this is connected to the Confirmation No Show?

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    2. As a parishioner in Carlingford it was common knowledge that Fr Sweeney would celebrate Confirmation in the Parish FYI.
      What's brewing in Armagh, not another Rory Coyle saga?

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  3. He is not showing at many things lately, his absence in the media of late is also very telling. I believe he is compromised. When he went to Rome for the Ad Limina he was reported to be very irritable and was unedge. There is a major scandal brewing.

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  4. This is good work, Pat, because guided by love, tolerance, human understanding, awareness of how church structures and rituals can be used salvifically and as witness. Please maintain this breadth of vision and sensitivity to individuals and their situations.

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    1. I have been on that path for 30+ years now and hope to maintain it.

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  5. I thought it was common to delegate confirmations to priests; or do we mint auxiliary bishops merely to keep the confirmation roster chockful of purple robes? Isn't this the kind of clericalist thinking that has ruined the Irish Church from way back?

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    1. True. But surely a Bishop can be expected each parish at least once a year?

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  6. 'Independent'..... Sorry Pat we cannot freelance as Christians, it's a body ministry and a head without a body is dead.... I suggest you get hold of 'The Antichrist' by Vincent Miceli it will open your eyes and then you might not be so quick to publish half truths on this blog

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    1. Who is freelancing?

      I am following Jesus.

      He is my "head", my "pope" etc.

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    2. The head of the Catholic church is Jesus Christ. According to St Augustine "There are people with God who are not in the church and people who are with the church who are not with God" Bishop Pat provides a very needed service

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  7. I wonder if Fr X will finally be exposed.

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  8. So whats brewing in armagh?

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  9. We need more jockstraps

    Sean Jones

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  10. I heard Amy said he does not care about Pat!

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  11. Father XXX XXXXX fucks XXXXXX XXXXXX! He drives XXXXXX XXXXXX car, a seminarian for Dublin Diocese. I have a picture of XXXXXX in "Fairy Wings" in London do you want it pat?

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    1. All information / pictures welcome at: bishopbuckley1@outlook.com

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  12. I think he wakens each morn and checks the blog cos he knows the end is nigh!

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  13. What's this about Armagh and another scandal carry on or is it the priest and his DUP lover or the Co Derry priest that goes AWOL with his female friend?

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