Harry Clarke at Sts. Peter & Paul Church 25th Feb 2017


Left to right – inside the church prior to the talk given by Dr. Nicola Gordon Bowe

Cllr. David O’Connor, Petra Skyvova – Balbriggan Tourism, Cllr. Grainne Maguire, Cllr. Darragh Butler – Mayor of Fingal, Dr Nicola Gordon Bowe, Cllr. Tony Murphy & Darragh O’ Brien TD.

Pictures courtesy of Michael Feeney 

Back on Saturday 25th, February Balbriggan Tourism hosted the first cultural event of 2017 the Church of Sts Peter and Paul in Balbriggan. The event, consisting of two parts, was organised in order to celebrate and promote the great art by Harry Clarke whose two stained-glass windows are located in the Church to the left and right of the main altar.

Harry Clarke (1889 – 1931) is described as a genius of his age. He was a stained-glass artist and illustrator who died at the young age of 41 having created over 160 stained-glass windows for religious and commercial commissions, as well as numerous book illustrations and other works.

Some images inside the church during and after the talk


Pictures courtesy of  Michael Feeney

The first part of the event consisted of a talk on the two Balbriggan windows, The Visitation and The Widow’s Son, by the art historian and Harry Clarke scholar, Dr. Nicola Gordon Bowe. Dr. Bowe gave a very detailed and captivating talk about the two Balbriggan windows and the artist who created them.

The members of Balbriggan Tourism Committee, chaired by Cllr Tony Murphy, were delighted with such a great turn out on the day. The audience included, among many local dignitaries and other distinguished guests, a curator from RIA, the architectural historian Brendan Grimes, Dr. Margarita Cappock, Head of Collections at the Hugh Lane Gallery, Tony Kiely, DIT School of Hospitality Management and Tourism and Coilin O’Reilly, Fingal County Council Head of Tourism Development.

Dr. Bowe’s talk was followed by the unveiling of three full-colour plaques, celebrating the windows which Balbriggan Tourism commissioned and had installed outside the Church. Mayor of Fingal Cllr. Darragh Butler officiated at the plaque unveiling.

Balbriggan Tourism Committee has been working on developing a tourism proposition for Balbriggan. One of the key components of Failte Ireland’s tourism campaigns for Ireland is the promotion of cultural tourism. Balbriggan is very fortunate to be the location of these magnificent windows which enhance the town’s appeal to the culturally curious visitor.

A set of four postcards depicting images from both of the Harry Clarke Balbriggan windows can be purchased at the offices of Balbriggan Tourism and Balbriggan Chamber of Commerce opposite the courthouse on George’s Square. They are on sale for €1.00 each.

Pictures courtesy of Michael Feeney

Left to Right – At the permanent plaque unveiling after talk inside the church.

Cllr. Malachy Quinn, Cllr. Grainne Maguire, Cllr. Darragh Butler – Mayor of Fingal, Petra Skyvova – Balbriggan Tourism, Cllr. Tony Murphy, Darragh O’ Brien T.D & Cllr. David O’ Connor.