05 December 2009

A Carol Service and a book launch

Christmas icon ... from the cover of the service sheet for next Wednesday’s Advent Carol Service in Saint George’s and Saint Thomas’s Church, Cathal Brugha Street

Patrick Comerford

The Church of Ireland notes in The Irish Times this morning [Saturday, 5 December 2009] include the two following items:

The Irish House on the corner of Wood Quay and Wintavern Street, near Christ Church Cathedral, was a well-known Dublin landmark for almost a century until its demolition in 1968 at the height of the controversy over the Wood Quay development.

For almost 40 years, the stucco artwork that decorated the frieze of the building has been in storage. Now, however, this important aspect of the Victorian arts and crafts movement by artists William Burnett and James Comerford has gone on display in the Dublin Civic Trust on Castle Street.

The works include stucco statues of Henry Grattan and Daniel O’Connell, two advocates of constitutional nationalism – one a member of the Church of Ireland and the other a Roman Catholic – and a famed representation of “Erin weeping on her stringless harp,” which draws together images from Celtic Romanticism and Psalm 137.

A new publication to mark this exhibition, The Irish House, Public House 1870-1968, is being launched next Tuesday at 5 pm at the Dublin Civic Trust by a great-grandson of one of the artists, Canon Patrick Comerford, Director of Spiritual Formation at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute.

On Wednesday morning the Archbishop of Dublin, together [with] Archbishop Martin, will participate in the blessing of a new unit in Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross, which will be opened officially by President McAleese.

In the evening he will preside at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute’s Advent Carol Service in St George and St Thomas’s Church, Cathal Brugha Street.

The poster for The Irish House exhibition in the Dublin Civic Trust, 4 Castle Street, Dublin

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