Two Fund-Raising Events In September Next To Assist In Re-Roofing Thurles Cathedral.

Drawing of the Cathedral Of The Assumption, Thurles, dated 1877, as published in the trade journal ‘Irish Builder’.

Two events will be taking place during next month (September), as efforts continue to raise funding for the re-roofing of Thurles Cathedral of the Assumption.

Nostalgic Music Night.

On Saturday, September 2nd next, Ms Anne Fitzgibbon and friends are hosting a nostalgic music night in the Premier Hall, O’Donovan Rossa Street, Thurles.

D.J. Micky Mac from RTE GOLD and Trax Disco are in attendance in Thurles to host a night of 70s, 80s and 90s music. Tickets are €20, available from Bookworm or the Thurles Parish Office. The event promises to be a great night, with full Bar facilities and a Raffle.

“The Priests” In Concert.

On Friday September 29th next, a concert in the Cathedral of the Assumption itself, will feature “The Priests”, back by popular demand. Once again Tickets remain available at the Parish Office, on Cathedral Street, Thurles, Tel: 0504 22229 or at Bookworm on Liberty Square, Thurles Tel: 0504 22257.

Over past years the roof of this wonderful historic building has highlighted the need for substantial investment, in order to preserve this most beautiful Cathedral and already a number of well attended events have been hosted, both in the Cathedral itself and in St. Joseph and St. Brigid’s Church, Bóthar na Naomh, all in a bid to raise funds for this major, costly, work to be undertaken.

The drawing shown here is taken from the ‘Irish Builder’ which was a successful trade journal first published in Dublin. Its first proprietor and editor was an architect named John Joseph Lyons (1828/29-1880).

The ‘Irish Builder’ was first published as a successor to the ‘Dublin Builder’, in 1867, with the above drawing shown here, appearing as content in 1877.

The ‘Irish Builder’ trade journal was published twice monthly and was originally priced at fourpence per copy, before being reduced to threepence after 1866. Subject matter contained included; economic matters, city planning, ventilation and health issues, lists of contracts awarded, and announcements regarding new materials, or as in the case of Thurles Cathedral, interesting buildings. The magazine ceased publication some 120 years ago, in 1903.

Thurles Cathedral of the Assumption:

Thurles Cathedral is the fourth church to be built on the current site. The first one recorded was a Carmelite church, built in the early fourteenth century. After the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII, in the 1530’s it fell into disrepair. The second church, known as the Matthew Chapel was built around the mid eighteenth century under the patronage of George Matthew, who resided in Thurles at that time. The third church built on the site was known as the ‘Big Chapel’ and was dedicated to Saint Patrick. This church was a spacious, T-shaped building, built between 1807-1808, at a cost of £10,000 and served as the Cathedral until the early 1860’s.

Speaking of the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII, in the 1530’s; almost everyone in Thurles smiled recently, when an article published by the local Tipperary Star newspaper, which indicated that history had been made in 2023, when a recent Mass was celebrated in St. Mary’s Graveyard, Thurles, same being the first Mass celebrated there since 1292.
As almost everyone is aware, the German Roman Catholic Priest, Martin Luther, did not reject the teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church; in particular, his personal views on indulgences, before posting up his ninety-five Theses in 1517, some 225 years later; which in turn led to the current divisions within the church. Back then St. Mary’s church, Thurles; built in the 12th century by the Norman invaders, was itself a Roman Catholic church, celebrating Mass.

Cathedral of Pisa in Northern Italy.

The fourth Church built here on this site is the now present Cathedral. Work began on this building in 1861. Then Archbishop Dr. Patrick Leahy decided to replace the ‘Big Chapel’, regarded same as unworthy of the diocese. As a lover of all things Roman: i.e. chant, Roman ceremonies and buildings; the Archbishop engaged the well-known and established church architect of the day, Mr J.J. McCarthy. Mr McCarthy used an Italianate Romanesque style, thus modelling the building on the Cathedral of Pisa in Northern Italy. Pisa Cathedral (Italian: Cattedrale Metropolitana Primaziale di Santa Maria Assunta; Duomo di Pisa) is a medieval Roman Catholic Cathedral also dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Pisa Cathedral remains a notable example of Romanesque architecture, in particular the style known as Pisan Romanesque. Construction began in 1063 and was completed in 1092, Consecrated in 1118, it remains the seat of the Archbishop of Pisa.

The foundation stone for Thurles Cathedral was laid in 1865 and by 1870 it had been roofed and the work then began on the interior. The consecration was performed by Dr. Leahy’s successor, Archbishop Dr. Thomas Croke on June 22nd, 1879.

The total cost of construction of the Cathedral then cost £30,000, with the bulk of the finance coming from within the Diocese itself and with the debt cleared by its completion.

Please do lend your support in some way, to both of these worthwhile events, and protect one of the few remaining religious and historic attractions in Thurles.


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