Re: Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals – St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh
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St Macartan’s Cathedral, Monaghan
Arguably McCarthy’s masterwork….
Ruined, the only trace of original stonework is a small stretch of railing at the old baptistry. The bishop rode roughshod over the people, and indeed a few years ago, I received an email from his secretary about a throw-away comment on the predesscor of these boards. I think Bishop Joseph Duffy is a tad touchy about it, and he has written several small booklets on the re-ordering to get his view across. None of these booklets have “before” pictiures – I have but I need to scan them first. As a kid I was entranced by the mass of victorian ironwork dividing the four side altars from the high altar, the massive ornate canopy over the Cathedra and the fabulous pulpit a third the way down the nave. All gone. Even the wooden confessionals which were ten-a-penny victorian were sadly removed. There was also some fabulous cast iron radiator covers to the rear of the church. Everything ruined.
By bringing the altar out into the crossing, they actually reduced the capacity of the church considerably – I must scan a plan and show the old versus the new.
The reordering completely detracts from the verticiality of the space and the forest of columns in the area of the crossing. It does not draw the eye to the fabulous hammerbeam roof nor to the apse when standing at the western entrances. It is non-descript. And it seems that since I was last there, they have added to the carpet collection in the apse. Originally it was one, which was acceptable because it attracted the eye to the end, now it looks like a rural hotel lobby. Are tapestrys the new stained glass?
The only thing they did right, was restore the organ, a magnificently overbearing and pompous instrument