|Front elevation of St Lelia's Church, Kileely Road, Limerick by Andy Devane|
Defining ourselves through architecture
|Image taken from RTÉ.ie/archives|
|Image taken from corkpastandpresent.com|
'Most of our churches have become confused collections of unrelated inaccurate and clumsy fragments taken without understanding from widely different sources usually copied, not from the original, but at fifth or sixth hand, from reproductions in turn based on other reproduction. There can be no reasonable or logical basis for this illiteracy, which merely created an impression that the church has no connection with the conditions of the present day, since its visible expression in its buildings is so deliberately archaic and out of contact with the daily life of its members.' 
|Image taken from Corr & McCormick's article on the church in |
The Furrow (1951)
|Our Lady of Lourdes church (1962), Childers Rd Limerick by P.J Sheahan|
Image taken by Emma Gilleece
Second Vatican Council
|Image taken from syntheastwood.com|
Architecture gave Ireland one of the only real avenues to express modernity. When one considers how heavily censored Irish writers were in these formative years and how controlled the image of this island that was presented to the rest of the world; that we were all living in this isolated Paul Henry landscape. Our advertising and branding with Lady Hazel Lavery as the 'Colleen Bawn' printed on our Irish pound notes. The fact alone that such debates and considerations happened during these conservative decades is monumental. The churches built during the thirties through to the sixties represent such a fascinating chapter in Irish history. So reader if you are going to a church over the Christmas period please take a moment to look around at the building, the artwork, note the period during which it was built and the craftsmen who brought it to life and appreciate it for its architectural and social merit.
|Limerick Museum & Archives publication, |
part of the City of Churches project
1 Frank O'Connor, Irish Miles (London, 1947). His impression of Limerick was written in 1939.
2 Dermot Keogh, Twentieth century Ireland's revolution and state building, (Dublin, 2005), p.71.
3 Irish Press, 20 June 1932.
4 R. Kevin Seasoltz A sense of the sacred; theological foundations of Christian architecture and art, (London, 2005), p.265.
5 Published in Liturgical Arts, no.4, 1961.
6. Richard Hurley, Irish church architecture, 1839-1989 in '150 years of architecture in Ireland', (Dublin, 1989), p.80.
7 John E. O'Reilly RIAI 1900-1945 in John Graby (ed) '150 years of Architecture in Ireland', p.24.
8. Frank McDonald 'Dream buildings, drawn in bed', Irish Times, 3 May 2008.
9. Richard Hurley and Wilfred Cantwell Contemporary Irish church architecture in Ireland (Dublin, 1985), preface, p.i.
10 Paul Larmour, Free State architecture: modern movement architecture in Ireland, 1922-1949 (Kinsale, 2009), p.97.
11 Hurley and Cantwell Contemporary Irish church architecture, p.23.
12 Richard Hurley Irish church architecture in the era of Vatican II (Dublin, 2001), p.24
13 Wolfgang Jean Stock, European Church Architecture, 1900-1950 (London, 2006), p.149.
14 Matthew J. McDermott, Ireland's architectural heritage, an outline history, (Dublin, 1975), p.129.