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Galway authors: Mattie Bane

Wednesday, 8th May, 2019 10:17am
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Galway authors: Mattie Bane
Galway authors: Mattie Bane

‘Mattie’ Bane was born to Martin and Mary Bane (née Canny) in Milville, Massachusetts, in 1900. When he was two years old his family returned to Ireland, to live in Rusheens, Belclare.
He went to school locally and to the Jesuit College, Sea Road. He was very active in the IRA during the War of Independence and served as a battalion-adjutant in the Galway Brigade from 1917 to 1921. He later wrote of his IRA exploits in his ‘Yanks in Corrigdown’ series for New York’s Irish World.
In 1923, he decided to become a missionary and spent a year at the Sacred Heart College, near Balla, Co. Mayo. His novitiate continued at the Society of African Missions’ house at Kilcolgan, from 1924-26, and then at the society's theological seminary at Dromantine, Co. Down (1926-30). He was ordained at St. Colman’s Cathedral, Newry, in 1930.
Fr. Bane worked as a missionary in Nigeria between 1930 and 1942. His first assignment was to the Warri mission in 1930. A year later he transferred to St. Thomas’s Teacher Training College, Ibusa, where he served as assistant-principal. He ministered briefly in Lokoja and Aragba before becoming a professor in St. Paul's Major Seminary, Asaba, in 1933. He was then made rector of the seminary, an important institution, which trained native clergy for ministry throughout Nigeria.

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