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

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

Grangemockler Church is most famous for its links to Michael Hogan, victim of the 1920 Bloody Sunday and namesake of the stand.
It has a selection of attractive stained glass, including images of a pelican  (believed to feed it’s own blood to its young, and therefore akin to Christ, more info here) St Patrick and the Crucifixion 

Many churches will have many panels of relatively plain stained glass, some indeed barely coloured at all. This glass is less striking than other pieces usually, but here is a good example of how light can illuminate  even a plain ish window into something more…. not that this photo adequately captured the effect:

Here is another panel, more elaborate but not represational as such, which I found striking.  

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

This installment of the occasional images of stained glass I post, mainly (but not exclusively) from Tipperary, has a little more detail than usual. The last Tipperary post I made was on the unexpected delight of discovering the stained class in the Church of the Visitation in Cloneen. Today I made another delightfully unexpected discovery. I took some shots of the stained glass in the Chapel of St Anthony in the Franciscan Abbey, Clonmel. In the corner of the one of the panels was the following:


This allowed me to find out the glass was made by Murphy Devitt studios. From that page:

In the early 1950s at Harry Clarke Studios, Dublin, John (Johnny) Murphy and John (Des) Devitt first met. By 1958 Johnny and Des along with Johnny’s wife Róisín Dowd Murphy decided to strike out alone and immediately started to create some of the most stunning stained glass ever seen in Ireland and beyond. It was a relationship that lasted almost fifty years, most notably in the form of Murphy/DevittStudios Limited from 1969-1990. In 2006, shortly after the passing of Des Devitt, Johnny was quoted as saying “we only ever wanted to create the best work we possibly could and we were happy that we did”. Within 2006 Des, Johnny and Róisín all passed away but their legacy of literally hundreds, quite possibly thousands, of the most avant-garde, radical and truly beautiful stained glass windows live on in the churches, public buildings and homes of Ireland and beyond.

 And so to the present day. Reiltín Murphy and Anthony Devitt are delighted to bring you this website dedicated to the work of these wonderful characters and talents. As we build the site we look forward to crediting every person who worked with the Murphy/Devitt partnership over the years. We welcome all contact from anyone with any information or stories you would like to share with us. Please click on the Contact tab above to get in touch.

The ultimate aim of our project is to provide a comprehensive catalogue and history of this incredible, life-long, partnership which continues to this day between the Murphy and Devitt families. Reiltín is immersed in hundreds of original cartoons and drawings and chasing down locations while Anthony is sifting through documentation, slides and photographs. If you have any information please DO contact us and don’t assume we know as we are finding out new things every day.

There is also a wonderful gallery of some Murphy Devitt work on the homepage of John Murphy’s daughter, Reiltín.

So, even more so than usual, it is with some embarrassment that I post my not very well taken photos of the beautiful work made by the Murphy Devitt studio. These wonderful pieces were created by artists whose techniques and approaches I know very little about. And my smartphone camera skills are probably adequate for family shots, but not to do this work justice. But here goes…:

Stained Glass from Powerstown, Clonmel, Tipperary Part 1

I have decided to take a slightly different approach to my posts on the Stained Glass of Tipperary churches (other prior posts here and here) – rather than an accumulation of blurry images I will try and be more selective in  my posting. Anyhow, here are some of the interesting windows of my local church, Powerstown.


This image of the risen Christ is in the choir balcony:

This image of Our Lady and Jesus is evidently based on an icon, I am unsure which  however and using Google Image search simply throws up more images of stained glass:

The following two images tick the “blurry” box alright, and are mirrored – because they are in the sacristry which was in use at the time. 

Stained Glass of Holycross Abbey, Holycross, Tipperary

Stained Glass of Holycross Abbey, Holycross, Tipperary

Holycross Abbey is one of the best known monastic sites in Ireland, a Cistercian abbey restored between 1970 and 1975. I highly recommend a drive from Thurles to Holycross to Cashel(via the Cabragh Wetlands centre for a rather different, but as rich, aesthetic experience) – from some miles away the Rock of Cashel  looms, giving a real sense of pilgrimage. Approaching from the other side of Cashel (ie off the M9 motorway) just isn’t the same.

As Holycross was restored from a ruinous condition, obviously the stained glass is of a recent vintage. Most of the windows in the Abbey are of “bare” glass, which contributes greatly to the austere beauty of the Abbey. In the North and South transepts smaller chapels feature striking, more contemporary glass.


Window in true cross relic chapel