The Merit Order of the Raven is a private award granted to those who bring honour and dignity to the Byrne name.
The award was instigated on the 1st of January 2012 by Finte O’Broin and takes its name from King Braen of Leinster who died in 1052. Braen, meaning raven, is the root of the name O’Broin “of Braen”.
The Patron of the Order is Lt.-Col. Charles Artaud Byrne.
The Chancellor of the Order is Derek J. Byrne M.Sc. FINS.
Recipients of the award receive the designation “Companion of the Raven” and may use the post-nominal CR. As Patron of the award, Charles Byrne recieved the designation “Chief Companion of the Raven” at a ceremony at St. Catherine’s Church on Thomas Street in Dublin on Tuesday the 24th of July and is entitled to use the post-nominal CCR.
The Protector of the order is St. Benedict as legend has it that the saint was saved from death by a raven who swooped down and stole a piece of bread which had been poisened in an attempt to assasinate him.
The Chapter of the Order is made up of the Companions who are responsible for nominating recipients each year. A list is sent to the Chancellor before the 1st of November and successful recipients are announced via the website on New Year’s Day.
The motto of the order is Crux Sacra Mit Lihi Lux! Nancuam Draco Sit Lihi Dux! (May the holy cross be my light! May the dragon never be my guide!). These lines are inscribed on the cross of St. Benedict.
The order is worn as a military style medal of silver with a raven surrounded by a wreath of olives. On the reverse is engraved “Merit Order of the Raven”. The medal is suspended from a silver bar supporting a red and white ribbon depicting the colours of Clan O’Byrne.
The Patron and the Chancellor also wear a medal around the neck depicting the raven on to the front and respectively the word “Patron” and “Chancellor” verso.
There are no more than five recipients of the Merit Order of the Raven each year. One of these is a special award granted directly by the Patron to an individual of his choice who has brought honour and dignity to the name through the public arena.
The recipients for 2012
Lt.-Col Charles Artaud Byrne CCR (Patron)
1. Derek J. Byrne (Chancellor)
2. Eric Byrne TD
3. Edward Byrne Jnr
4. Rev. William David Byrne
5. Phyllis Burke
The Order of Wearing
The Merit Order of the Raven medal should be worn whenever the recipient is representing the clan organisation in an official capacity. It may also be worn at formal dress occassions at the wearer’s discretion.
The ribbon bar is worn when either full decoration or medals is considered inappropriate or impractical.
Decorations of any sort may only be worn with formal style jackets or dresses for women. As white tie is rarely worn in Ireland, black tie is considered formal attire and appropriate for the wearing of all clan decorations.
“I think people need a pat on the back sometimes, its a very dingey world otherwise.” Queen Elizabeth II