Father John Cunningham, Prior of the famous Basilica San Clemente in Rome visited Downpatrick on Thursday 17th to give a lecture at the Saint Patrick Centre. Entitled ‘Nero’s Neighbours’ Father Cunningham discussed the splendid 12-century basilica, named after the Saint and Pope Clement I, which had been in the care of Irish Dominicans since 1677, following the order's expulsion from Ireland. He went on to discuss the many archeological excavations ran by the Dominican Fathers which uncovered the fourth-century basilica and primitive buildings beneath it revealing some of the most important treasures of the Eternal City. John Carson, Chairman of the Saint Patrick Centre thanked Father Cunningham for coming to talk about San Clemente and he also thanked Diarmuid Taggart and his family for helping organise and support the event.
Father Cunningham suggested that the Saint Patrick Centre might consider organising a weekend 'behind the scenes’ excursion to visit San Clemente and other sites in Rome and this was warmly received by those attending. Anyone who might be interested in coming to Rome next Spring on this excursion should register their interest with the Saint Patrick Centre on 02844619000 and details will be passed on.