reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches

Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Thu Nov 17, 2005 6:58 pm

Re n. 98: I am glad you raised the case of Limerick which has undergone a very recent restoration and "make over" of the interior, especially of the sancturay. The original architect here was Philip Charles Hardwick who had been retained by the Earl of Dunraven to build Adare Manor. It was constructed 1856 - 1861 and consecrated in 1894. From a distance, the spire (280 feet) makes a very memorable impression on the flatness of the Limerick plain. The Cathedral interior is a fine example of the effective use of light and is one of its principal features - nowadays not so clearly evident because of over-illumination. The high altar, throne, and pulpit were made by the Belgian firm of Phyffers. Although re-arranged by J.J. O'Callaghan in 1894, they survived into the 1980s when, unfortunately, the throne was removed and resited in the vacuum left by the altar mensa which had been moved "nearer to the people". The tabarnacle in the reredos was abandoned and its door replaced by the heraldic achievement of the then Bishop. In placing the throne in the site intended for the mensa of the altar, little account was taken of the surprising (if not incongrous) effect of seeing the successor of St. Munchin seated on a throne at either side of which was clearly emblasoned a strophe of the Trishagion. A rood beam survived with its figures into the 1980. In the latest round, the choir stalls seem to have survived.
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Thu Nov 17, 2005 8:45 pm

St. Mary's Cathedral, Kilkenny, designed by WIlliam Deane Butler, was begun in 1843 and completed in 1857. Its neo-Gothic style is heavily Norman in inspiration and can be easily compared with St. Jean de Malte in Aix-en-Provence, St-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume in Provence or indeed with many of the pure creations of the Norman displacement in central and southern Italy - such as the abbatial church at Fossanova in Latium, Sant'Eligio in Naples, and San Lorenzo Maggiore in Naples. The decoration of the interior of Kilkenny's St. Mary's is by Earley and Powell and was brought to completion in 1865. This firm was responsible for the ceiling painting of the chancel, the glass, the high altar fittings and lightings. The mosaic work is by Bourke of London and the chancel murals by Westlake. In the 1970s, the socially minded Bishop Birch instigated, in the diocese of Ossory, an iconoclasm worthy of the emperor Leo III, a martial pesant from the mountains of Isouria whose hatred of images was largely inspired by an incomparable ignorance of both sacred and profane letters. Kilkenny cathedral, fortunately, escaped the worst ravages and retains its (albeit redundant) High Altar which was purchased in Italy. The altar rails (alas no more) and the altar of the Sacred Heart were the work of James Pearce. A diminuitive and out of scale altar was placad under the crossing and a new cathedra -redolent of Star trek - installed. The contour of this impianto is remarkably similar to the one now proposed for Cobh cathedral. Perhaps the greatest thing that can be said for this "reordering" is that it can (and will) eventually be removed leaving the building more or less as concieved by none too mean an architect.

So far, nobody wishes to claim responsibility for the effort.
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:32 pm

The Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady in Thurles, Co. Tipperary, boasts of being Ireland's only 19th century cathedral to have been built in the neo-romanesque style. Building commenced in 1865 to plans by JJ McCarthy who relied very heavily on North Italian or Lombard prototypes, modelling the facade on that of the Cathedral in Pisa, and, succeeding to some extent in conveying the spacial sense of the Cathedral complex in Pisa with his free standing baptistery and tower. The Cathedral was consecrated by Archbishop Croke on 22 June 1879. Archbishop Croke replaced JJ McCarthy with George C. Ashlin as architect for the remaining works which included the decoration of the interior on which no expense was spared. The ceiling, designed by Ashlin, was executed by Earley and Powell. The same company are also responsible for the galss and some of the sculpture work, the more important elements of which were executed by Pietro Lazzarini, Benzoni and Joseph O'Reilly. Mayer of Munich also supplied glass as well as Wailes of Newcastle. The most important item, however, in the Cathedral is the Ciborium of the Altar by Giacomo della Porta (1537-1602). This had originally been commissioned for the Gesù in Rome in 1582 by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese. The same Giacomo della Porta built the dome of St. Peter's Basilica 1588/1590 and finished the lantern in 1603. The altar from the Gesù was acquired by Archbishop Leahy while in the City for the First Vatican Council in 1869/1870. Reordering work began here in 1979. The altar rails have given way in the face of a projection into the nave. Unbelievably, the High Altar has been dismantled and its mensa separated from the della Porta ciborium which is now relegated to an undescript plinth. The original stencilled work disappeared in 1973. As with Longford and the Pro Cathedral, the removal of the High Altar leaves the building without a focus, the present dimension and location of the Ciborium not being to the scale of the building. The temptation to hang banners in the apse has not been resisted.

It is difficult to ascertain the architect responsible for the current interior of Thurles Cathedral.
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Fri Nov 18, 2005 12:53 am

The Cathedral of St. Patrick and St. Colman, Newry, Co. Down is a composit building in a neo Gothic idiom developed in three main phases bewteen 1825, when it was begun to plans by Thomas Duff, extended between 1888 and 1891, futher extended between 1904 and 1909, and finally completed in 1925. The only part that can be reasonably described as Victorian are the transepts (1891); high Altar, pulpit and belfry (by Ashlin). The decorative scheme was drawn up by Thomas Hevey and executed by G.C. Ashlin who alsoextended the nave and chancel in 1904. The sanctuary was re-ordered in 1990 by extending the dais into the nave, and placing the mensa of the original altar under the crossing. The pulpit appears to have survived but not the altar rails. The reredos of the altar was needlessly divided into three section for reasons not easily or immediately fathomed. The present tri-partite re-constructed reredos is slightly reminiscent of the revolving stage scenes of an 18th century petit theatre. The most remarkable implant of the reordering must be the throne in a neo Gothic idiom. Curiously, it is probably the largest throne created in any re-ordering in Ireland -for what is one of the smallest dioceses in the country. Among the conoscenti, it is often deferred to as a "model" for what could be done in Cobh Cathedral - a building far outstripping Newry in its superiority of conception, execution and stylistic unity. Again, this cathedral is bereft of Choir Stalls.
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby GrahamH » Fri Nov 18, 2005 3:12 am

Thanks for all the pictures Praxiteles - partiicularly Longford, what a gem of a building. Those columns are magnificent!
How disturbing to see all of these reorderings in black and white - whatever about the removal of architecturally significant features, but to then install bathroom showrooms as liturgical and architectural focal points of these splendid buildings is nothing short of criminal.

Another by Duff, and whilst not (quite :)) a cathedral, and not as opulent as others featured, St. Patrick's in Dundalk has had the most horrendous rubbish thrown up in the sanctuary. I don't remember what was here before the 'changes', but in its place has been put what can only be described as an altar table from Homebase fronted by an 8x4 sheet of MDF with laser cut gothick arches, bright verdigris paint and backlit with a florescent tube:

Image

Luckily the worst of it is concealed here beneath the altar cloth. It beggars belief when you see it up close - looks like a cartoon plonked into the 'real world'.

Also the throne looks like it was a nicked from a 1980s country house hotel, whilst the timber lecturn with 'feature panel' is equally inappropriate in an exclusively marble environment.

On the upside, I believe St. Patrick's also has mosaics by Oppenheimer, just not sure which particular ones.
I dread to think what was there before the timber-n-carpet conference stage was introduced :(
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Fri Nov 18, 2005 3:57 am

The Cathedral of St. Brendan in Loughrea, Co. Galway was begun in 1897 to plans drawn up by William Byrne and completed by 1902. In size, it is quite modest and, exteriorally, not much different from many churches then being buit in Ireland. Byrne was commissioned to bulit a church in the neo Gothic idiom, having a nave, absidal chancel, lean-to isles, a shallow transcept and a spire. The interior, however, is another matter. By some strange providence, the interior became a veritable icon of the Celtic revival movementin terms of sculpure, above all glass, metal work and wood work. This gem was the product of a partnership of interest in the Celtic Revival shared by Fr. Jeremiah O'Donovan, who was given charge of the Loughrea cathedral project, and by Edward Martyn (benefactor of the Palestrina Choir in the Pro-Cathedral). John Hughes was commissioned to do the sculpture for the interior -including the bronze relief of Christ on the reredos of the High Altar and a marble statue of Our Lady. Michael Shortall was commissioned to execute a statue of St. Brendan and the corbels. He is also responsible for the scenes from the life of St. Brendan on the capitals of the pillars. Designed by Jack B. Yates and his wife Mary, the ladies of the Dun Emer guild embroidered twenty four banners of Irish saints. The same studio provided Mass vestments etc.. The stained glass is by An Tur Glaoine (opened in 1903) under the direction of Alfred Childe and Sarah Purser. Over the next forty years A. Childe, S. Purser and Michael Healy executed all of the glass. Michael Healy's Ascension (1936) and Last Judgement (1937-1940) are amongst the Cathedral's greatest treasures. Fortunately, the liturgical Boeotians have not yet managed to exact their vengence on this little gem. The High Altar, communion rails, and pulpit are all still in tact - though the inferior quality of the modern liturgical furnishings inserted into the original organic whole is patently obvious.
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Gianlorenzo » Fri Nov 18, 2005 4:29 am

Another view of St. John's in Limerick. The more I look at the sanctuary floor the more I am reminded of something from a Harry Potter movie. :eek:
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Gianlorenzo » Fri Nov 18, 2005 4:39 am

For Praxiteles re #84 Tuam Cathedral. Here is a shot of the original sanctuary showing baldachino :)
and one of the side altars.
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Gianlorenzo » Fri Nov 18, 2005 5:34 am

"……… St. Mel's Cathedral, begun to the design of Joseph Keane in 1840. While the portico lacks the sophistication of Keane's great Dominican Pope's Quay Church in Cork, the interior, by contrast, is now regarded as noblest of all Irish Classical church interiors. It is designed in the style of an early Christian basilica, with noble Grecian Ionic columns and a curved apse. It also shares the remarkable distinction of being the only major Catholic Church in Ireland to have actually been improved by internal reordering, when the fussy later altar was removed and replaced by a simple modem table altar, which accords harmoniously with the early Christian style of the interior. The tower and portico give a striking approach to the town from Dublin."
(An Taisce)




Is this true? I have been unable to find any photographs of St. Mel's so am unable to judge. Does anyone have before and after shot so we can decide.
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby johannas » Fri Nov 18, 2005 7:06 pm

Well Graham, at least St. Patrick's in Dudalk still retains the beautiful italian altar rails and brass gates insitu and though the homebase altar is quite disturbing, the sanctuary hasn't quite been turned into a disney ice rink!!!
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Fri Nov 18, 2005 8:47 pm

Re. post 109

Code: Select all
It also shares the remarkable distinction of being the only major Catholic Church in Ireland to have actually been improved by internal reordering, when thee fussy later altar was removed and replaced by a simple modern table altar, which accords harmoniously with the early Christian style of the interior.
[quote="Gianlorenzo"]"


While the import of the above is not exactly clear, the idea that the modern undersized altar in Longford Cathedral "accords harmoniously" with the early Christian style of the interior is quite remarkable for its evident obliviouness to the findings of Christian archeology and the factual testimony of those Basilicas which still conserve their original spacial lay out. The result of Cathal Daly's reordering of Longford is a modern construct derived from contemporary theories that has been brutally superimposed on a neo classical basilical context.

Were the reordering to have been conducted with the idea of reproducing or reinterpreting the prinicples underlying the spacial outlay of an early Christian Basilica, then the outcome would have been considerably different. It would have required emptying the nave of its benches]Solea[/I] extending one third of its length and marked off by barriers; a transverse barrier to mark off the Sanctuary; and the construction of a Ciborium or Baldachino over an altar on a raised dais. [See attachment 1 and 2]

In this system, the nave is reserved for the entry and exit of the Roman Pontiff and his attendants at least since the year 314when he was invested with the Praetorian dignity. When he arrived at the main door, his military or civil escort was shed; he processed through the nave with clergy any other administrative attendants until he reached the gate of the Solea at which point all lay attendants were shed; the lower clergy lined up in the Solea and remained there while the Pontiff, accompanied by the Proto Deacon of the Holy Roman Church and the Deacon of the Basilica accompanied him through the gate of the Sanctuary as far as the Altar where other priests or Bishops awaited him.

The laity were confined to the side isles; the matroneum (or womens' side); and the senatorium (men's side).

In Rome, two extant eamples of this spacial disposition illustrate the point: Santa Sabina which is partially intact [attachment 3]; but, more importantly, San Clemente which is well preserved [attachment 4].

Remarkably, the author who believes that the present interior lay out of Longford Cathedral somehow reflects that of an early Christian Basilica quite obviously has not read Richard Krautheimer's Corpus Basilicarum Christianarum Romae and may not have been familiar with the same author's Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture (Yale University Press). C. H. Kraeling's The Christian Building (The Excavations at Dura Europos...Final Report, VIII, 2 (Yale University Press) and T. Matthew's writings on the disposition of the chancel in early Christian Basilicas (Revista di Archeologia Cristiana, XXXVIII [1962], pp. 73ff. would certainly dispel any notion of even a remote connection between the early Christian Basilica and the current pastiche in Longford Cathedral.
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Re: St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby MacLeinin » Fri Nov 18, 2005 9:16 pm

Graham Hickey wrote:What came of the appeal to the Supreme Court do you know Praxiteles?


I noticed that no one has attempted to answer your question. To the best of my knowledge the Friends of Carlow Cathedral lost their case in the Supreme Court - legend has it that one man lost his home as a result. I have tried following this story up on the web but there is nothing obviously available.
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Gianlorenzo » Fri Nov 18, 2005 9:54 pm

Speaking of Carlow, there was a story in the Carlow People today about some of the stained glass window being smashed.

"Smashed Cathedral windows will cost thousands to repair
A number of stained glass windows in Carlow Cathedral were broken last week in an attack which is expected to cost thousands of euro to repair.
The damage was done when a man threw a bin at a number of windows in the Cathedral last Wednesday night.
The motive for the attack is not known but Carlow Gardai apprehended a man at the scene.
This is the second attack on a church in Carlow in recent times as just over a month ago vandals threw kerbing through a number of windows in St. Mary's Church of Ireland in Rathvilly.

Assessors have now examined the damage to the Cathedral although according to administrator Fr. Ger Aherne they have not yet completed their examination.
'We don't know how much it will cost to repair them, there were three or four panels broken,' he said. 'The windows are quite old and we expect the cost will be substantial." Carlow People 18/11/05


The vandals have struck inside and out.!!!! :(
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Gianlorenzo » Fri Nov 18, 2005 10:44 pm

Interior of Carlow. Does anyone have a view of the sanctuary before the changes?
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Fri Nov 18, 2005 11:04 pm

re #107

Looking at the floor in Limerick, there might be a vague suggestion of the Campidoglio in Rome - but I would not swear to it!
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby MacLeinin » Fri Nov 18, 2005 11:14 pm

:)

Well done Praxiteles, I think you are correct. Is there some significance to the disign?
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Fri Nov 18, 2005 11:42 pm

en suivant la guerre....this time, we have the Cathedral of St.Eunan's in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, which, mercifully, has been subjected to a minimalist approach to "reordering". It was the last of the major Gothic Revival cathedrals to have been built in Ireland. Begun to plans drawn by WIlliam Hague in 1891, it was completed in 1901 by his his partner T. F. McNamara. Here architecture "stained glass, sculpture, frescoes and mosaics are orchestrated into a triumphant unison". The external sculpture is by Purdy and Millard of Belfast. The mosaic tiling of the choir is by Willicroft of Henley. The Pearse Brothers' The High Altar, throne, pulpit (depicting the Donegal Masters), and communion rail all remain in situ. The glass is by Mayer of Munich and by Michael Healy whose work is to be seen in his windows of 1910-1912. The clerestory windows were designed by Harry Clarke. Great creidt is due the enlightened former Bishop of Raphoe, Dr. Seamus Hegarty, for this sensible approach to "reordering" and for his concern to preserve the integrity of the building.
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Fri Nov 18, 2005 11:55 pm

The Cathedral of the Annunciation and St. Nathy, Ballaghadereen, Co. Roscommon is another example of a minimalist approach to "reordering" that has succeeded in conserving much of the original fabric and fittings of the building. Designed by Hadfield and Goldie, the foundation stone was laid in 1855 and completed in 1860. In the Early English idiom, a plan for a fan-vaulted ceiling had to be abandoned because of lack of funds. The external tower and spire are by W.H. Byrne. The glass was supplied by Earley, Mayer and An Tur Glaoine (the windows depicting St. John and St. Anne by Beatric Elvery). There are (and were) no choir stalls.
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Sat Nov 19, 2005 12:11 am

The Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity in Waterford is the oldest Catholic Cathedral in Ireland. Begun to plans drawn up by John Roberts in 1793, the cathedral was completed c. 1800. The present sanctuary was installed in 1830; the apse and High Altar in 1854; and the Baldachino, supported by five corinthinan columns, in 1881. The pulpit, Choir stalls, and throne, designed by Goldie of London and carved by Buisine of Lille, were installed in 1883. The glass is mainly by Mayer of Munich - except for the chandeliers which are a gift of Waterford Glass Ltd.. A fairly minimalist reordering took place in 1977 during which the Choir Stalls were moved from their original position flanking the High Altar to a new position against the abse walls. The altar rails seem to have been removed and a moveable altar inserted.
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Sat Nov 19, 2005 12:42 am

The Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed in to Heaven and St. Nicholas, Galway, was the last Cathedral to be have been built in Ireland. Its patron was the formidable Bishop Michael John Browne and architect was John J. Robinson of Dublin. The builders were John Sisk. The foundation was laid in 1957 and the building was finished by 1965. The style, much criticized by the politically correct establishment, is certainly different from much of what was being built in Ireland at the time and reflects all sorts of eclectic elements borrowed from tpyes such as St. Peter's in Rome, Seville, and Tuscany. The interior gives the impression of not having been completed and still lacks Choir Stalls, pulpit and perhaps even a proportionate High Altar in the apse. Those furnishings and fittings already in the building by 1965 have survived without any reordering.
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Sat Nov 19, 2005 2:14 am

Another of the neo-classical Cathedrals, this time the Cathedral of St. Patrick and St. Phelim in Cavan town. Built to plans by W. H. Byrne of Dublin, it was begun in 1938 and completed in 1942. The tympanum of the portico contains figures of Christ, St. Patrick and St. Phelim by George Smith. The columns in the interior, the pulpit and statutes were supplied by Dinelli of Pietrasanta in Italy. The stations of the cross and the mural of the Resurreection are by George Collie. The High Altar is of green Connemara and red Midleton marble. The altar rails are in white Carrara marble. All of the original fittings and features are still in situ and reordering here has been minimalistic. Some of the glass was provided by the studios of Harry Clarke. In 1994 the Abbey Stained Glass company installed a set of eight stained glass windows made by Harry Clarke originally for the Sacred heart Convent in Leesons Street, Dublin between 1919 and 1934. Thee set depicts ST. Patrick and two princesses; St. Anne and the Blessed Virgin; St. Francis Xavier; St. Charles Borromeo; the Sacred heart and St. MArgaret Mary; St. Michael the Archangel; and the Apparition of Our Lady to St. Bernard. There do not appear to have been Choir Stalls.
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Sat Nov 19, 2005 2:21 am

The Cathedral of Crist the King, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, was built to plans drawn up by R.A. Byrne and WIlliam H. Byrne of Dublin. Work began in 1932 and the building was opened for public worship in 1936 and consecrated in 1939. Reordering here has been minimalistic with all of the main original fittings still in situ.
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Sat Nov 19, 2005 4:37 pm

The Cathedral of St. Patrick, Skibbereen, Co. Cork, is the Cathedral church of the the diocese of Ross. It was buit between 1825/1826 and 1830 by the Rev. Michael Collins, subsequently Bishop of Cloyne and Ross. The Cathedral was built in a neo-classical style, and while modest in scale, is not without interest. The architect for Skibbereen was Michael Augustine O'Riordan, a remarkable man by any standards. Educated in the neo-classical style, he worked extensively in Cork City and County. Some of his churches include the North Chapel in Cork i.e. the Cathedral of St. Mary and St. Anne (1808), Blackrock Village (1818), Doneraile (1827), Millstreet (1836), Bantry (1837), Kinsale (1838), and Dunmanway (1841). In 1826, at the age of 42, he made profession as a Patrician Brother. Along with continuing building churches, convents and schools throughout Cork, he spent his time teaching in the schools for poor run by the brothers. Skibbereen Cathedral, fortunately, survived the rush to "reordering" and the worst phases of its consequent iconoclasm - partly due the sensitivity arising from the recent status of the diocese of Ross. It was only in very recent time that a fairly minimialist approach to reordering took place which saw the preservation of the High Altar but the loss of a portion of the fine altar rails and their gates in the face of the forward thrust into the nave all too familiar in Irish "reorderings". The refurbishment and renovation of elements of the Cathedral in Skibbereen are by Wain Moorehead of Cork. The same refurbishment could usefully have removed the amplifiers adhering to the capitals of the columns at the chancel arch. Choir Stalls never appear to have been installed in Skibbereen.
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Sat Nov 19, 2005 4:59 pm

St. Muredach's Cathedral in Ballina, Co. Mayo was begun in 1828 and externally completed in 1831. The patron was John McHale, the young bishop of Killala. The architect was Dominic Madden who is also responsible for the cathedrals in Tuam and Ennis. Lack of funds and the famine inevitably induced changes to the original design. The spire was added in 1853 by John Benson. The project was finally completed in 1892. The ribbed ceiling, by Arthur Canning, is based on Santa Maria Sopra Minerva in Rome , the original painted decoration, however, has vanished. The glass is by Mayer of Munich. Of the High Altar, commissioned in Rome by Sir Kenelem Digby, only the mensa survives.
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Sat Nov 19, 2005 7:52 pm

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Sligo, has been dubbed by some as Ireland's least loved Cathedral. It was built in a Germanic Romanesque style, quasi officially, and overwhelmingly, described as "Normano-Romano-Byzantine". The Cathedral was built by Bishop Lawrence Gilloly to plans drawn up by George Goldie. WIth a seating capacity of 4,000, it has the largest capacity of any Cathedral in Ireland. The foundation stone was laid in 1868. The Cathedral opened for public worship in 1874 and was consecrated in 1897. The glass was supplied by Lobin of Tours. The High Altar is surmounted by a baldachino supported by columns of Aberdeen granite and was designed by Goldie. Benzoni is responsible for the large alabaster statue of Our Lady in the Lady Chapel. The Cathedral has undergone two major reorderings since it was built; one in 1970 which was minimalistic leaving all the main features in situ; and another more recently which saw a grille implanted in Goldie's Baldachino which has the effect of obscuring the central focus of the building. Several prissy devices have been used to solicit a minimal attention for the new altar which has been placed in the main plain of the sanctuary. The fine altar rails have long disappeared and no Choir Stalls are to be seen.
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