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The Jesuit church

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On this day, July 31, in 1863, “The new Church of St Ignatius on the Sea Road in the vicinity of the city was dedicated by the Most Rev Dr McEvilly, Lord Bishop of Galway. Sea Road is one of the most fashionable and frequented thoroughfares in the suburbs of our city. The Church, which was commenced in 1861, is now complete with the exception of the organ, altar and some minor internal decorations; and we have no doubt the zeal of the faithful will only require such a desirable opportunity of enabling the Jesuit Fathers, whose excellent judgement in these matters is fully acknowledged, to complete the required improvements, and that nothing shall be wanted which the good taste of the architect can suggest to make everything perfect. The Church is built of hammered limestone ashlar work in courses. The south gable, or principal front, the spire and the quoins, dressings etc, being finely punched and the depths of the jambs and arches of the principal doors and windows, which are richly moulded, adds greatly to its appearance. The Church, which is Gothic in style, is in the form of a Latin Cross, 115 feet in extreme length, 36 feet wide and 70 feet across the transepts, 56 to the ridge and 110 to the top of the spire”.

Lord Dunkellin’s statue

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In 1873 this imposing statue was unveiled in Eyre Square in honour of Lord Dunkellin, son of Lord Clanricarde and heir to the family estates. He had a distinguished military career before being elected MP for Galway City in Parliament. He held the seat for eight years before being elected for the county in 1865. He died in 1867. There was a very large gathering in the Square on the day of the unveiling with lots of toasts and speeches. The sculpture was a very fine one by the distinguished artist John Henry Foley.

 

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