Re: Re: St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh
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Longford Cathedral was widely regarded as Ireland’s finest example of a neo-Classical cathedral. The original architect was John Benjamine Keane with subsequent contributions from John Bourke (campanile of 1860) and the near ubiquitous G.C. Ashlin who is responsible for the impeccably proportioned portico (1883-1913) commissioned by Bishop Bartholomew Woodlock of Catholic University fame. The internal plaster work is Italian as were the (demolished) lateral altars. It was opened for public worship in 1856. In the 1970s a major re-styling of the sanctuary was undertaken by Bishop Cathal Daly who employed the services of Wilfred Cantwell and Ray Carroll. J. Bourke’s elaborate high altar altar and choir stalls were demolished and replaced by an austere arrangement focused on a disproportionately scaled altar. The results, which have not drawn the kind of universal criticism reserved for Armagh and Killarney, nevertheless leave the interior of the building without a natural focus. The insertion of tapesteries between the columns of the central apse was an attempt to fill the void and would be used again to solve a similar problem in the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin. The absence of choir stalls is to be noted as is the relative obscurity of the Cathedra – the very raison d’etre for the building.
Richard Hurley was also involved here. I found this picure of St. Mels prior to the disasterous reordering in 1976.