Bishop’s Coat of Arms

A Bishop’s Coat-of-Arms traditionally consists of two halves. The left half is the crest of the Diocese, the right, of the Bishop himself.

The Christ-Symbol

The Arms of Bishop Holohan is dominated by an early Christian symbol of Christ. It is a stylised Greek Chi Rho in red, which symbolises Christ’s love. The rules of heraldry needed modification so that the Christ-symbol could dominate the Coat-of-Arms.

The Diocesan Shield

The Diocesan shield comprises a black bar on a silver background. The black represents Constancy, the silver represents peace and sincerity. The lily flower symbols on the bar represent Mary, the Mother of Christ, and the castle represents security.

The Holohan Shield

Bishop Holohan is the Sixth Bishop of that name. The previous Bishops served in Ross and Dromore-Ossory between 1157 and 1404. One became Archbishop of the Southern Half of Ireland between 1158 and 1182. The Holohan Crest is in the lower right half of the Coat-of-Arms, below the Christ-symbol. This reflects the new Bishop’s service of Christ. The crest is white on top, and blue beneath. The white portion of the shield, called the “Chief”, represents peace and serenity. The annulets (or rings) symbolises faithfulness, while the red in this context represents fortitude. The colour blue represents loyalty and truth. The tower represents greatness, the colour gold represents royalty, and the griffins on either side represent vigilance. The crescents below the tower represent ‘hope of greater glory’.

The new Bishop’s motto, ‘To love, to serve like Christ’ replaces the traditional Holohan motto: ‘They conquer who conquer themselves’.