Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches

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Definitely time to move on as has been said above

I think the article below captures the mood very well

Board bars alterations to Cobh cathedral
Saturday, 3rd June, 2006

An Bord Pleanála has refused planning permission for extensive alterations to the interior of St Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh, Co Cork, because they would “adversely affect the character . . . of a protected structure of national importance”.

The board unanimously rejected a recommendation by the planning inspector who dealt with the appeal that the liturgical changes should be allowed, saying it disagreed with his interpretation of its role in determining such applications.

By a majority of six votes to two, the board went on to overturn Cobh town council’s decision to approve plans by the cathedral trustees to carry out a re-ordering of its interior to meet the liturgical requirements of the Second Vatican Council.

One of the board members, Mary Bryan, absented herself because the Irish Georgian Society – of which she was formerly a senior official – was one of the appellants. Other appellants included An Taisce and the heritage division of the Department of the Environment.

Welcoming the board’s ruling yesterday as a “landmark decision in protecting Ireland’s architectural heritage”, a spokesman for An Taisce said it laid down a “significant marker for any future proposals for alterations to churches of all denominations”.

The proposed “re-ordering” of the interior of St Colman’s would have involved extending the sanctuary area into the nave of the cathedral, removing and partially relocating the existing altar rails, and creating a permanent altar in the extended sanctuary.

In its decision, An Bord Pleanála described St Colman’s Cathedral as “a most important example of 19th-century Gothic Revival architecture by the architects Pugin and Ashlin, which has retained the integrity of its original architectural treatment”.

The board said the building “is of the finest quality, both in its exterior and interior” and the proposed alterations would “adversely affect” its character and would, therefore, be “contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”.

In deciding not to accept the recommendation of senior planning inspector Tom Rabbette, the board disagreed with his interpretation of its powers under the 2000 Planning Act to decide on planning appeals involving protected structures which are used as a places of worship.

“The board considered that the obligation placed on it to respect liturgical requirements must be interpreted in the context of its other duties, as defined in the Act, including in respect of protection of the architectural heritage,” it said in its ruling.

Niall O’Connor in Cork adds: Adrian O’Donovan of the Friends of St Colman’s Cathedral group told The Irish Times that his group was pleased that An Bord Pleanála had taken its decision. “We are relieved and pleased, but this is not a day for triumphalism – it is a sad day because it should never have come to this. No one has won today – it is a sad day for the church when people must appeal to the civil authorities,” he said.

Cllr Stella Meade, mayor of Cobh, said that she was pleased by the board’s decision.

A statement from Bishop John Magee said: “The Cloyne Diocesan authorities have noted the decision by An Bord Pleanála . . . A detailed study of the decision will now be made by the Diocesan authorities and their professional advisers, before deciding on the next course of action.”

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