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The Church of Ireland

The Church of Ireland
News Briefing

For Saturday 7th July 2001

From: The RCB Library
Email: RCB Library

Festivities in Tallaght

For many the name Tallaght is synonymous with late twentieth century urban sprawl and the challenges which such developments have presented for town planners, the providers of local services and, most importantly, the people who live there. Yet Tallaght today has developed a remarkable sense of community which belies its size and, even more remarkably, has based much of that sense of community on a shared sense of the past. Surprisingly, perhaps, the logo of the community is the Church of Ireland parish church which is dedicated to the Irish saint, Maelruain.

It was Maelruain who founded a monastery in Tallaght in the eighth century and later, in the twelfth century, the parish was granted to the Archbishop of Dublin. From the 14th century until 1822 Tallaght was the county seat of the archbishops and the town and its ecclesiastical buildings are splendidly illustrated in Robert Newcomen's map of 1654 which is reproduced in the Catalogue of the Maps of the Estates of the Archbishops of Dublin, published last year by Four Courts Press.

The present parish church, partly constructed from the materials of the old church which was described as being ruinous in 1825, was built in 1829. It is the work of the celebrated Dublin architect, John Semple, and is similar in style to other Dublin churches he designed, such Kilternan, Whitechurch, and St Mary's Chapel of Ease, better known to generations of Dubliners as the Black Church.

The church will be the focal point for the St Maelruain's Festival which takes place today (Saturday) and tomorrow (Sunday). There will be a living history exhibition, by Irish Arms Reproductions, around the church grounds, local sporting events, a craft exhibition and supper in the parish centre. The Festival will close with a Songs of Praise in the church led by the Dublin Conservative Club Choir who have agreed to join in launching the new Church Hymnal. All the proceeds will go to parish funds in the hope that at a future date the church can be floodlit.

Today (Saturday) and tomorrow (Sunday) will be open days at the Dublin Port Branch of the Mission to Seafarers which is based in the Flying Angel, Centre, Branch Road 3, Alexandra Road. Visitors will be welcome to come, between 3.00 pm and 9.00 pm, and learn of the work of the mission. Tomorrow (Sunday) there will be an Open Air Service at 3.00 pm with music by the St George's Brass Band and the Choir of St Ann's Church, Dawson Street. The address will be given by the Senior Chaplain to the Mission to Seafarers, Canon Adrian Empey.

Tomorrow (Sunday) RTE will broadcast Morning Prayer from St John's parish church, Newcastle, Co. Down, where the rector is Canon Ian Ellis. The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Walton Empey, will represent the Church of Ireland at the National Day of Commemoration in the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham while in St Patrick;'s Cathedral, Dublin, the services will be sung by the choir of Trinity Hall, Cambridge.

The Vidalia Community Chorus from Georgia, USA, are visiting Ireland and they will sing in St Mary's parish church, Killarney, tomorrow (Sunday) evening and in St Multose's parish church, Kinsale, on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday evening there will be an organ recital in St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, by Peter O'Connor, the cathedral's organ scholar.

On Monday President Mary McAleese will open the Tercentenary Exhibition in Marsh's Library, Dublin. Curated by Dr Muriel McCarthy and entitled "This Golden Fleece", the exhibition will be an opportunity to view some of the riches of this remarkable institution.

Continuing in Cork until July 20 is the annual exhibition of art by members of Cork's artistic community. Entitled "Art and Community", it may be viewed in St. Fin Barre's Cathedral, Monday to Saturday. Further details available from the cathedral - Tel: 021-4963387.

Church of Ireland Notes appear in the Irish Times whose web site may be found at

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