Search Results for 'Ian Nairn'

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Galway Cathedral

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“Catholic cathedrals in Ireland are monuments to our imitative instincts and conservative distrust of artistic originality. There are examples of new church architecture but in general, Church authorities remained faithful to the Middle Ages and refused to abandon medieval architecture. It is therefore understandable that in 1949 when the building of Galway Cathedral was commissioned, it should have been conceived in a hybrid Romanesque style. In 1959, the foundation stone was laid and on August 15, 1965, the Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas was dedicated by Cardinal Cushing. In December that year the Vatican Council solemnly ended its revolutionary document The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy which rendered the shape, style, arrangement, and setting of such buildings obsolete and anachronistic. This building was almost an object lesson in insularity. It is clear from the late Bishop of Galway’s instructions that for him art can be no more than decoration, an illustration of scripture or a clearly formulated theology. Art is never an original source, a spiritual revelation, a doing of theology.”

The cathedral in the square

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“Galway, the Capital of Connacht, historic metropolis of the Tribes and one of the principal cities of Ireland, looks sad, lonely, sorrowful and dejected without a cathedral, a cathedral towering over, and proudly commanding by its majestic presence the city and its surroundings. Our beautiful plaza, the Square, and I don’t mean the Green with its shoddy rusty time-worn railings — stands as it were, already prepared — God’s Holy Acre long waiting for the Cathedral of the rising resurgent west. The railings would of course be removed making the Green a spacious foreground, and incidentally a delightful parking space, an area almost as large as the Square itself. No spot on earth is good enough for God’s House and “the place where His glory dwelleth”. The Square is the best Galway can give”.

 

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