Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches

Home Forums Ireland reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches


It is not just the addition of a 175 foot high spire that makes the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Roscommon town stand out from its peers, because, as the Catholic archbishop of Tuam said in his homily at its opening in 1903 : ‘ It is one of the finest parochial churches in Ireland ’. Designed by Walter Doolin from Dublin and P.J. Kilgallon from Sligo, it had been begun four years earlier as a memorial to Laurence Gillooly, Bishop of Elphin from 1858 to 1905. He is depicted not only in the west window in the south transept, but is also shown holding a map of his diocese in the tympanum over the main doorway which, unusually, faces east. There his portrait is one of the many façade mosaics by Salviati of Venice, which feature The Martyrdom of St Laurence, St Vincent de Paul and The Sacred Heart, who is also the subject of the great rose window above, surrounded by separate figures of the patrons of the dioceses of Ireland. Indeed, it is this blending of mosaic and colourful windows that is also the abiding impression of the interior of this fine Catholic church. Mosaics not only cover the floor, they also create a great golden surprise in ornamenting the entire walls of the sanctuary with angels modelled on Botticelli and evangelists copying the work of Michelangelo. Above them, between the windows, are the founding figures of most of the major European religious orders, while the windows themselves – by Florence of Tours ([I can find no reference for these..doe’s anyone know whom they maybe refering to?)[/I]- represent Old and New Testament figures, as well as Irish saints. As with these windows, the ceiling of the sanctuary has the Sacred Heart at its centre, to whom Ireland is offered in dedication by archbishops, bishops, priests and laity, as painted by Craftworkers Ltd. of Dublin. The aisle has a large collection of colourful stained glass windows in nineteenth century style, showing events in the life of Christ on the ground floor and the 32 Invocations of the Sacred Heart in the clerestory level above – the 33rd Invocation being the rose window already mentioned. The priests in whose memory these clerestory windows were erected are commemorated in scrolls held by angels in the spandrels of the arches of the nave arcade, while the corbels over the columns represent the ‘ Twelve Apostles of Ireland ’ – the country’s main monastic founders of the sixth century. The ornate Gothic altars are of Carrara marble, as is the fine pulpit by Sharpe of Dublin; the cantorio of the Brindley of Sheffield organ is based on Donatello, and the Stations of the Cross are by a Munich firm. This splendid amalgam of Irish, British, French, German and above all, Italian inspired art, is a wonderful time capsule of an Irish parochial church left mercifully untainted by many of the changes recommended by the Second Vatican Council. The church is fronted by a sunken grotto.

Latest News