Murphy Devitt Stained Glass from St Mary’s Church , Cahir

Murphy Devitt Stained Glass from St Mary’s Church , Cahir

One of the delights of blogging about stained glass in Tipperary (and beyond) has been the discovery of the work of Murphy Devitt studios. I was therefore delighted to discover Murphy Devitt work from 1969 in St Mary’s Church, Cahir.


Cosmic Walk, Cabragh Wetlands Centre, Tipperary

Cosmic Walk, Cabragh Wetlands Centre, Tipperary

Near Thurles, on the road to Holycross, one finds Cabragh Wetlands Centre, which is the site of the transformation of the marshes around an old Irish Sugar factory into a wildlife sanctuary:

Like many heavy industries of its time, however, it had an unwelcome environmental footprint. Sugar beet was washed before processing, and the sludgy effluent was, at first, released directly into the River Suir.

Initially, this was considered of little consequence when so much wealth was being created locally. But the Suir was renowned for angling, and during the 1960s the almost inevitable happened, and the effluent wiped out many fish. The series of kills drew attention to the untreated discharges, and a local angler, Bob Stakelum, spearheaded a campaign to clean the effluent before it was released.

In response lagoons were built that allowed the sludge to settle before the waste water was discharged. These “settling ponds” stopped the fish kills – and brought an unintended but welcome consequence. Waterfowl took an immediate shine to the lagoons, and wigeons, plovers, lapwings, gulls and curlews began to overwinter there.

Cabragh is a wonderful site which I have visited many times. It has a great variety of fauna and flora and recently has added a new feature – a Cosmic Walk.

The Cosmic Walk concept is influenced by the thought of Brian Swimme, and indeed this approach to reconciling evolutionary, cosmological and religious mindsets features in Peter Reason’s“In Search of Grace”, much-cited on this blog.described here:

The Cosmic Walk is a ritual created by Dominican Sr. Miriam MacGillis of Genesis Farm in New Jersey. It has been modified and facilitated by many people around the world. The Cosmic Walk is a way of bringing our knowledge of the 14-billion-year Universe process from our heads to our hearts.

There is a leaflet on the Cabragh walk available here. One doesn’t necessarily have to embrace the concept overall to enjoy a walk around some striking sculptures … but the overall concept gives these works a deeper resonance.

Stained Glass from St Mary’s Church, Kilsheelan

Some images from St Mary’s Church, Kllsheelan.

First of all some interesting motifs – I presume letters of some kind but I am not sure:

These windows were clearly Chi-Ro and IHS symbols:

The altar windows featured some neat images of the Evangelists and symbols of Christ. The mid morning light perhaps made these striking images less easily photographed:

Stained Glass from St Molleran’s Church, Carrick-on-Suir

With its narrow streets, broad river spanned by and skyline dominated by spires and a town clock, there is a medieval feel to Carrick-On-Suir. St Molleran’s is built on the site of a 13th Century Franciscan Abbey. The current church is considerably more modern although traces of this medieval foundation remain.

The stained glass windows I found rather typical of many other Churches but the light at the time I visited (early afternoon in early Feb) gave them a luminous quality I fear I did not capture here. There were some pleasing details such as the water under the feet of Mary as she appeared to Bernadette.

A cobbler in stained glass: St Crispin from St Peter and Paul’s, Clonmel, courtesy of Munster Shoes Limited

A cobbler in stained glass: St Crispin from St Peter and Paul’s, Clonmel, courtesy of Munster Shoes Limited

It’s been a while since I have posted any Tipperary Stained Glass posts. I suppose the best explanation is that the chance hasn’t presented itself – this is very much an opportunistic endeavour on my part.

I’ve also been thinking of how best to present these photos. In a way the posts that consisted of loads of photos of a particular church’s stained glass reflect the artless approach I have taken, but don’t do these works justice.

So I plan to post on one window at a time, or a set. We’ll see how it goes.

Anyway, here is a window that has long intrigued me, from St Peter and Paul’s in Clonmel. It is a window depicting St Crispin, who along with his brother St Crispinian is patron of a whole load of things – including cobblers.Indeed, he has now given his name to a fancy handmade shoe company.

Here is the window:


This window is “Presented by the Workers of Munster Shoes Limited In Gratitude to God for Favours Received 1935 – 1956”

A close up of the writing at the bottom


A further view of the window from further away:


And further yet, to put in some more context:


There is a better image of this window here

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 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


Harry Clarke: The Master of Stained Glass — A R T L▼R K post

Harry Clarke: The Master of Stained Glass — A  R  T  L▼R K post

Given how much I have been featuring Harry Clarke work (see also here and here and Harry Clarke Studio alumni here) I thought it might be nice to share this post from the Ark Lark blog on Clarke himself….

On the 17th of March 1889, Harry Clarke, an Irish stained glass artist and book illustrator, was born in Dublin, Ireland. The second son of Joshua Clarke and Brigid McGonigle, he was remarkable already as a child for his extraordinary individuality and intelligence. After attending several schools, including the Model Schools in Marlborough Street, he […]

via Harry Clarke: The Master of Stained Glass — A R T L▼R K