Re: Re: Brother Michael Augustine O’Riordan

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Church of the Exaltation of the Hoy Cross, Charleville, Co. Cork built in 1812.

By a source of great good fortune a friend of Praxiteles managed to unearth and pass on the enclosed photograph of the interior of the church of the Holy Cross in Charleville probably buily by Br. O’Riordan in 1812, which served as parish church until the construction of the present neo-gothic church which was opened in 1902. The first church is now used as a parochial hall but Praxiteles is informed that the central arch of the serliana -and possibly its pediment – survives in situ. This example of a serliana altar closely resembles the one in nearby Ballyhea. Again, we have the centrally located High Altar flanked by two votive altars located slightly forward to allow access to th sanctuary from behind their rerdos. The painting over the High Altar is almost certainly a crucifixion as no crucifix has been placed on the gradine of the altar between the candle sticks. It is not possible to say whether the ensemble originally had two other pictures hanging above the votive altars.

As a matter of curiosity, it is interesting to note the double altar rail (which was also a feature in Ballyhea and still exists in Castlehaven). Note the small number of proper benches between the two rails – which would have been rented. The nave of the church, however, is furnished merely with forums equipped with kneelers – which is the origin for the expression of “being in the halfpenny place” for such would have been the contribution for their use.

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