North Cathedral Bicentenary Exhibition

1. Cathedral, South Side, c. 1900

In 1964 an extension of approx. 70 feet was built at the eastern end of the Cathedral. This meant that the spectacular Reredos executed by John Hogan had to be taken down. Continuing the history... The extension provided for a new raised Sanctuary, Conference room, Mortuary and basement rooms for parish use. The main gallery was re-organised to accommodate the organ, which was adapted by Messrs. Henry Willis & Sons, and to provide ample choir space. Externally, a new Sanctuary Tower, rising to height of 80 feet, was built to complement Canon Foley’s Western Tower. In line with 2nd Vatican Council, an oak altar was placed to the front of the marble altar, which was reduced in size. New mahogany seating was installed and new Stations of the Cross were erected. It is regretted that several historical tablets were removed during this renovation process, namely that to Bishop John Murphy executed by John Hogan and that to Bishop John England. Also the Foundation Stone which was in the North Wall was plastered over. Three beautiful new stained glass windows were installed in the Sanctuary, one depicting the Crucified Christ, set in abstract designs of blues, greens and yellows. During the renovations the bones of those interred in the Crypt were re-interred in St. Finbarr’s Cemetery. The names are recorded on a tablet stone outside the north wall of the Cathedral. They are:-

7. Patrick Pye’s ‘Annunciation’

2. Drawing of Cathedral for 1965 rebuilding

Rev. Mother Mar P. Fitzgerald, Foundress, North Pres. Convent

1810 1814 1815 1816 1817 1829 1847 1847 1876

Very Rev. Robert McCarthy, VG

Right Rev. Francis Moylan, Bishop of Cork

Rev. John McDonogh, CC Very Rev. James O’Mahony, PP

Rev. John Murphy, CC

Right Rev. John Murphy, Bishop of Cork Right Rev. William Clancy, Bishop of Ortense

Very Rev. Cornelius O’Keeffe

Very Rev. Daniel Canon Foley, ‘through whose untiring exertions this Cathedral was enlarged and the Tower built’


In Aug. 1994 parishioners were alerted to some alarming information. Heavy rain had revealed some serious problems, wet rot, dry rot and woodworm in the roof. It was obvious that major renovation needed to be done.

3. Interior of Cathedral, 1977

Once it was clear that major work was necessary, it was decided to re-order the interior of the Cathedral.

The Cathedral was closed for 15 months and reopened on 29th Sept. 1996.

Many local craftsmen were involved in the refurbishment. A major fund- raising initiative was inaugurated involving parishioners, local businesses and reaching to the far ends of the diocese.

Many changes were made to the interior.

4. Cork Weekly Examiner, 28 Jan 1965, concerning rebuilding

The cathedra (Bishop’s chair) was relocated to the centre of the altar presiding over all ceremonies. Hogan statues which had been ‘lost’ since 1964 were found and were placed in niches high in the ceiling. A new altar, ambo and tabernacle pillar sculpted from Portland stone by Tom Glendon of Dublin. Cork man Ken Thompson designed and executed the Processional Cross, the Pascal Fire stone and the name stone, and the shrine to Blessed Thaddaeus McCarthy and St. Joseph the Worker. The set of paintings depicting the life of Mary, which are located in the Lady Chapel, are by Patrick Pye. The sanctuary furniture was commissioned from Eric Pearce, based in Kilbrittain. The new stained glass window in the beautiful new Blessed Sacrament Chapel is the work of James Scanlon. Cork. The tabernacle and sanctuary lamp are by Peter Donovan, Kilkenny. The old Baptismal Font was repositioned inside the main door. ‘It is the first of three sacraments by which a person is initiated into the people of God, the Church’.






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6. Easter Ceremonies 1999

5. Interior, 2008

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Painted in light colours and with stunning new lighting, the Cathedral exuded warmth and peace. A truly prayerful place

10. Birds Eye View from Cathedral, early 1930’s. Possibly a mass to mark the start of the Cathedral Rd. Housing Scheme. Shows St.Mary’s Hall at top, and Bailey’s Lane, the precursor of the Cathedral Rd.

8. Ken Thompson’s wooden carving of ‘St. Joseph the worker’

11. Cathedral altar arrives, 1996

12. Cathedral scaffolded in 1996 renovations

9. New Tabernacle in Blessed Sacrament Chapel

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