Re: Re: Brother Michael Augustine O’Riordan

Home Forums Ireland Brother Michael Augustine O’Riordan Re: Re: Brother Michael Augustine O’Riordan


The reference to twin Holy Water fonts is from an article done in the 1970s and published in the Cork Evening Echo (?) by the then City architect. While useful, Praxiteles would not put too much store in the “characteristic” of twin holy warter fonts – they also feature, for example, in Fermoy which is an E.W. Pugin facade (1867) and in Buttevant which is Charles Cottrell (1832) and are both neo-gothic.

Characteristic of O’Riordan’s churches are the types: elaborate triangular monocameral (eg. Doneraile), T shaped (Kinsale, Skibbereen, and Dunmanway), simple monocameral village (CastletownKinneagh and Ballyhea) and a more articulate version of the same (Killavullen possibly Inchigeela). All are strictly proportioned, the more elaborate having niches, pilasters, and finials of either pines or urns. Many of these features are derived fairly immediately from the published architectural studies of Serlio and Palladio.

The most important features of these churches are the Serliana altar pieces – elaborate retables usually in the Corinthian order, tripartite, containing a central High Altar flanked by two side altars, with two doors leading to and coming from a retrosacristy. The retables usually contained three pictures; a crucifixion over the high Altar, a picture of the Blessed Virgin on the right (or Gospel) side of the High Altar and the patron saint of the church on the other side.

Most unfortunately, Praxiteles believes than none of the surviving serliana altar pieces is in tact. Not infrequently, the High Altars were “upgraded” in the 19th century, sometimes the pictures have disappeared, in other cases the serilana has been demolished completely, in other cases the flanking altars were demolished in the post Vatican II iconoclasm. In practically all cases the carved altar rails have all disappeared.

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