On Saturday 25th February Balbriggan Tourism hosted the first cultural event of the year at 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.
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 have 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.
"It was a great event and a fantastic talk from a very passionate Dr. Nicola Gordon Bowes. Congratulations and thank you to Balbriggan Tourism for all their hard work. There is a Harry Clarke tourism trail and important we do all we can to promote Balbriggan and Fingal as part of this." - Fingal Mayor Cllr Darragh Butler
Selection of Photos from the day.