Re: Re: Cloyne Cathedral Church of Ireland

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Concerning the ancient structure in the Cathedral Precinct Cloyne, the so-called Fire House, which was believed to shelter the remains of St. Colman himself, Paul MacCotter, in his COlman of Cloyne: A study, published by Fouy Courts Press, page 119 has the following:

“The bishop’s palace in Cloyne, earlier seat of the Geraldine bishops and deans, was graced by several noble and humane incumbents whose contribution to knowledge and letter is well known and whose associations still bring lustre to Cloyne. Only one bishop is cast in doubious light in relation to stewardship of the ancient holy places of Cloyne, and this was Bishop Cahrles Crowe (1702-1726). AN enduring local tradition, first recorded by Windele early in the nineteenth cnetury, and still current in the area to this very day, attributes to Crowe the deliberate destruction of what appears to have been an ancient oratory in the grounds of the cathedral, believed by the local populace to house the remains of Colamn Mac Lenin himself. Craowe’s actions are attributed to distaste at an annual pilgrimage or pattern where the pious prayed at the saint’s tomb. The buiklding was said to have been reduced almost to ground level and what had been dug up from the interior carted off to Ballycroneen and thrown into the sea. Some support for this tradition comes from recent aracaeological investigations into the remains of the oratory or Fire ouse, which found only burials post-dating Crowe’s episcopate. Such an action would not have been out of place in one of the most sectarian and distrubed periods of Irish history, and Crowe is known to have referred to his Catholic fellow-twonsmen as “Teagues”. Such philistine iconoclasticism,a s one wuld expect, was very much the exception and the record over several centuries rather shows clearly the continued and expensive commitment to maintaining the fabric of cathedral and precinct by Cloyne’s Church of Ireland community”.

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