Erratum re Harry Clarke / Fethard

Early last year I posted on the stained glass of Augustinian Priory, Fethard.  This includes this window depicting Our Lady of Fatima:



I had picked up somewhere that it was from Harry Clarke Studio, which transmogrified in my mind to that it was ““by Harry Clarke” I posted it on the blog post on the Abbey’s stained glass (I have corrected it just now, but with a note pointing out my error) and hopefully I have not perpetrated an untruth that has spread further afield.

I perhaps should have known better as clearly this window is a bit more traditional than Clarke’s highly distinctive work. It is still a fine window however.


“The Barn Owls of Tipperary”, talk by Áine Lynch of BirdWatch Ireland, Tirry Centre, Fethard, October 4th

In case a Blessing of the Animals is not enough for one day, there is a talk at 7.45 pm in the Tirry Community Centre, Fethard on the Barn Owls of Tipperary.:

The Tipperary Branch of BirdWatch Ireland will be hosting an illustrated talk on the Barn Owls of Tipperary on Thur 4th October at 7.45, Tirry Community Centre, Barrack Street, Fethard. This is a free event suitable for all. There will be also a raffle on the night for a couple of framed pictures of Barn Owls.

The only time I have seen a Barn Owl is in Tipperary so this seems appropriate. BirdWatch Ireland have an informative booklet on this species which does merit that overused word, iconic.

The dried-up riverbed of the Clashawley River, Fethard, Tipperary

The dried-up riverbed of the Clashawley River, Fethard, Tipperary

This is not the first time this has happened. Nevertheless it is eerie to walk beside a dried-up river, especially one that at other times is prone to flooding.

Evidently (from the second link above) Fethard has a community very devoted to its river and I would be very curious to know how often this has happened in the past. Is it a legacy of the heatwave of this summer or is something else at play?






Multum In Parvo – Newport’s Newsagents, Fethard, Tipperary

A particularly charming sign – like many Latin tags, multum in parvo doesn’t go that easily into English – “much in a little” or “much in a small place” is a possible translation. Very suitable for a bookshop or newsagent.

However, Newport’s now offers kinesiology and such:

Here’s a view of the sign from the other side.

My Best of Tipperary Stained Glass (a personal selection of ten images)

My Best of Tipperary Stained Glass (a personal selection of ten images)

Since this post from January I have been blogging intermittently picture of stained glass from Churches in Tipperary. As I wrote in that original post:

Recently visiting various churches in Clonmel I was struck by how striking the stained glass windows were. None were particularly celebrated or well-recognised, yet were – quite apart from any religious consideration – beautiful, literally luminous works of art. It struck me that they deserve to be celebrated and recorded. Perhaps there is somewhere, online or in a book, which the stained glass windows of Tipperary are collected, but here is my humble effort in that line.

I have been opportunistically taking pictures of stained glass since. I have strayed beyond just one county. I have also been frequently mortified at my lack of photo skills. It is comforting to find from others that stained glass is tricky to take pictures of.

I tend to take these photos when I get the chance – ie between work, family life and other commitments. Therefore they very much reflect my own locality and routine with a definite South Tipp bias. I also have found that Church of Ireland churches tend to be locked when I have tried to go in. I don’t want to distract from services or people at prayer so I try to avoid the times of services/masses. So these images have all been from Catholic Churches – which was not my intention at all!

Anyhow, the posts on Tipperary stained glass are as follows:

Stained Glass of Augustinian Priory, Fethard

Stained Glass from Church of St John The Baptist, Kilcash, Tipperary

Stained Glass of Holycross Abbey, Holycross, Tipperary

Stained glass from St Mary’s Church, Grangemockler, Tipperary

Stained Glass from Church of the Visitation, Cloneen, Tipperary 

Stained Glass from Powerstown, Clonmel, Tipperary Part 1

Murphy Devitt Studios Stained Glass in Chapel of St Anthony, Franciscan Abbey, Clonmel

Murphy Devitt Stained Glass from Franciscan Abbey, Clonmel.

“A kind of gospel in glass”: stained glass from the Church of the Holy Trinity, Fethard, Tipperary.

Stained Glass from New Birmingham/Glengoole, Tipperary

Stained glass from St Mary’s Church, Killenaule 

A random image from a site already linked to above:

sunlight through stained glass – St Anthony’s Chapel, Franciscan Friary, Clonmel

From the above I have decided to make a personal selection of my ten favourite images gathered on this stained glass adventure. I don’t pretend to be an expert, a good photographer or a systematic researcher. I am learning more and more about stained glass as time goes by but don’t intend to turn this into another arena of excess striving.

Reviewing the pictures I am rather mortified at the out of focus and generally bad images… so I will strive (irony) to improve this (and may prune egregious examples) I have decided to choose, in so far as possible, purely on aesthetic grounds and purely on the images themselves, as opposed to the place or how the window looks in reality, or any other consideration.

Harry Clarke Studio window of Our Lady of Fatima, Augustinian Abbey, Fethard, Co Tipperary
St Anthony’s Chapel, Franciscan Abbey, Clonmel (Murphy Devitt Studios)
From Church of the Visitation, Cloneen
From Church of the Visitation, Cloneen
From St Mary’s Church, Killenaule
From St Mary’s Church, Killenaule
Detail of window of Our Lady of Fatima, Augustinian Abbey, Fethard
From Church of the Holy Trinity, Fethard
From Church of St John the Baptist, Powerstown
From Church of St John the Baptist, Kilcash

Heritage Week 2017 Walking Tour of Medieval Sculpture and Folk Art in Fethard — Pilgrimage In Medieval Ireland

This is reblogged from the wonderful Pilgrimage in Medieval Ireland site. I have blogged about Fethard heritage here and here – this is a far more informed guide!

On Thursday last I led a walking tour of the medieval walled town of Fethard in Co Tipperary for the Fethard Historical Society as part of Heritage Week. There are so many interesting sites and features within this walled town it would take you a day or more to explore them all properly. The aim […]

via Heritage Week 2017 Walking Tour of Medieval Sculpture and Folk Art in Fethard — Pilgrimage In Medieval Ireland

“A kind of gospel in glass”: stained glass from the Church of the Holy Trinity, Fethard, Tipperary.

“A kind of gospel in glass”: stained glass from the Church of the Holy Trinity, Fethard, Tipperary.

Every so often I have blogged pictures of stained glass, mainly from various Tipperary locales but also from further afield. I have found that this has led me to discoveries like the windows of Cloneen and the work of Murphy Devitt Studios.

Looking out for stained glass had made me aware of beauty that I would not have noticed otherwise. I have visited Fethard, Co Tipperary, very many times, and I have visited the Church of the Holy Trinity (the Catholic one) once or twice. It had struck me before as an imposing facade but I had not been particularly drawn to it, as opposed to the  Augustinian Abbey down the road .


Visiting again with a deliberate eye to stained glass, all was changed. There is a wide range of styles and settings for the stained glass here, from traditional pious image to stylised, near-impressionistic works. It is an immensely rewarding experience to visit, an once again I can only apologise for the quality of the camera work.

Indeed, for this post I initially thought I would split the post into three or even four, but have decided to use slideshows to help illustrate the range of work.

On entering the Church, one finds stained glass work on the doors inside. These images are among the hardest to photograph as the stairs and floor behind the glass tended to crowd out the image. These panels features a range of saints and symbols:

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Above the entrance doors to this lobby we see a wonderful window depicting the Trinity. Visual depictions of God the Father are generally rare, so I thought this warranted a close-up:



Into the main church, and in a series of panels just above the very back of the nave we have the text of the Apostles Creed with appropriate imagery.  First a rather ill-lit image of the whole thing:


And now a slide show (particular apologies for slide quality):

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There is a beautiful chapel of Perpetual Adoration here (although it was empty when I visited) which features the  most distinctively “modern” glass:


20170621_13565920170621_13565120170621_135706(0)A particularly delightful feature was the pair of windows in the choir balcony, either side of the organ. These feature Biblical images of music, featuring Kings David (I am reasonably confident) and Solomon (I am less confident):



Here is a close up of Solomon (I think):

20170621_135858The main body of the church features a range of striking windows. I thought I discerned a loose theme of education (broadly defined):

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There were also images of grief evident in another side chapel. For some reason I didn’t get a photo of the main central image which as far as I recall was the Crucifixion:

There were also four images of the evangelists on the lower windows each side of the transept:

20170621_13551920170621_13552620170621_13554420170621_135553Finally, here is the altarpiece itself:


All in all, this visit was one of the most revelatory of my stained glass experience. It was a treat to see so much glass in one, relatively modest, parish church, and imagery of such richness and suggestive power. I felt something of what it might have been like in a more visually literate culture, where this imagery was a sort of gospel in glass.