Added on 26/06/2012
The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, announced on Friday a grant of €212,000 from the Special Projects Fund for emergency works to the North and South Transepts, Gargoyles (at risk of falling), the prevention of water ingress on the Western Portico and works to the organ pit, frame and restoration. The Minister said ‘Dating from the 1860s, St Fin Barre’s is a recorded monument, a protected structure, and is rated as being of international importance in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. I am delighted to be able to contribute towards conservation works at St Fin Barre’s.’
The Dean of Cork, the Very Revd Nigel Dunne said he greatly welcomed this allocation (which is being granted on a 50% matching funding basis) at a time of severe economic constraints – ‘this funding is absolutely crucial to us keeping open all areas of the Cathedral, if not the Cathedral itself. The Deans’ Chapel, used every day for services and private prayer is an essential component of our visitor experience, and the stonework, plasterwork and marble in the Chapel has been rapidly deteriorating over the last two years. It was coming close to the point of having to be closed to the public. Several large gargoyles on the outside were also coming to the point of having to be removed in the interest of public safety. The stonework over the main entrance is suffering badly and is letting water into the Cathedral – this will also be dealt with on the foot of this funding. Some of this work was already part of the contract for the main spire project but we had to cut short the works due to a lack of funding. We will now be able to begin tackling these elements almost immediately. We are so relieved by today’s announcement since, at least in the short to medium term, a major crisis has been averted’ He went on to say, ‘as many people are by now aware, we will be nearing the completion of the restoration of the Cathedral Organ which is already putting us under severe financial pressure. The prospect of facing into other serious issues with the building itself has been frightening. We will still have to deal with a deficit of around half a million Euro when the organ and the emergency works are complete but I have no doubt that we will eventually pay this off with the continued generosity of the people of Cork and beyond.’
Several major fundraising events are now planned for the Autumn and early next year.
A Flower Festival and Songs of Praise will take place on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September. Details will be announced next week.
An ‘Antiques and Fine Art Valuation Day’ will be held on Sunday 21st October (leading to a major Antiques, Collectables and Fine Art Auction’ to be held in a most unusual and not yet disclosed location in Cork in March 2013).
A major fundraising concert will be held in the Cathedral in October featuring some well known artists from the Irish music scene. Details will be announced later this summer.