Saint Patrick’s Day began early in Cork with a Civic Service and Festival Eucharist of Saint Patrick’s Day held in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral where the city’s patron saint first founded his monastic settlement. The Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton, presided assisted by the Dean of Cork, the Very Reverend Nigel Dunne, the Dean’s Vicar, the Reverend Ted Ardis, the Archdeacon, the Venerable Adrian Wilkinson, Canon Eithne Lynch, the Rev. Anne Skuse and the Rev. Edwin Hunter. They were joined, as every year, by Father Christopher Fitzgerald, ecumenical officer of the Diocese of Cork and Ross.
Bishop Colton’s Sermon may be read here.
The civic attendance was led by the Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Joe Kavanagh, as the Lord Mayor had accepted an invitation to be at the White House in Washington, DC, U.S.A. ‘This year, for the first time in 18 years, I’ve been “Trumped”‘ joked Bishop Colton. Members of the City Council (from all parties and non-party) were present as were heads of department in Cork City Hall led by the CEO of Cork City, Ann Doherty. Former Lords Mayor of Cork present included: Michael Ahern, Paud Black, Jim Corr, Brian Bermingham, Donal Counihan, Dan Wallace and Toddy O’Sullivan (who was also representing St Fin Barre’s GAA Club).
From the Oireachtas, Mr Simon Coveney, T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, was present together with: the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Micheál Martin, T.D., Ms Margaret Murphy-O’Mahony, T.D., the Leader of Seanad Éireann, Senator Jerry Buttimer, and Senator Colm Burke. Mrs Deirdre Clune, M.E.P. accompanied by her husband, Conor Clune, was present. Brigadier General Patrick Flynn (Office Commanding, Southern Command), Commodore Hugh Tully (Naval Service), Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin (An Garda Síochána)
Honorary consuls present were: Mr Michael Mulcahy (Poland) who is also chairman of Cork Civic Trust, Mr George Barter (Portugal), Sir Freddie Pedersen (Denmark). Cathy Goode, Honorary Vice Consul of Spain also attended.
Among those also present were: Dr Brendan Murphy (President of the Cork Institute of Technology), Mr Ted Owens (CEO of the Cork Education and Training Board), Philip GIllivan (Vice President of the Cork Business Association), Ms Carol Jermyn (Jermyn and Co, Solicitors who is the Diocesan Solicitor), Billy Skuse (Diocesan Secretary), Bill Brady (Diocesan Architect) Ms Helen Arnopp (Allied Irish Banks), Ian Coombes (Principal of Bandon Grammar School), Paddy O’Brien (Over 60s Singing Competition and Irish Heart Foundation), Manus O’Callaghan (Southern Advertising), Robin O’Sullivan and Ms Ann-Marie O’Sullivan (AM O’Sullivan PR and Strategic Communications), David Barry (scouting and David Barry, Photographer) Jennifer Dowler (Dogs for the Disabled), Mrs Deirdre Henley (Irish Girl Guides), Mr and Mrs Alan Campbell (Saint Luke’s Home, Cork), Conor Crowley (Scouting), Don Trotter (Scouting), Finbarr O’Shea (Flying Enterprise, Cork), Ruairi O’Connor (The River Lee Hotel), Mr Eric Paterson (Birchill Landscapes), PJ Coogan (96 FM), Ted Crosbie (Irish Examiner), and Vincent O’Donovan (Carrigdhoun).
So many facets of Cork life were represented: the media; the commercial life of the City, voluntary groups, agencies, and associations. the Cork Federation of Women’s Associations, the St Aloysius’ Past-Pupils Association, the Ursuline School Past-Pupils Union, Cork Rape Crisis Centre; St Vincent de Paul, and many voluntary and youth organisations. The remarkable Cork charity organized by students in Cork – SHARE – were represented by six young people: four from Presentation College, Cork and two from Regina Mundi, all accompanied by Brother Patrick Fitzgibbon.
Sporting organisations included representatives of the GAA Cork County Board, St Finbarr’s GAA Club and the Incorporated Church of Ireland Cork Young Men’s Association.
The Cathedral choir under the direction of Peter Stobart, Director of Music, with James Taylor playing the organ sang Missa Brevis in B flat (Little Organ Mass) by Haydn , and also, during Communion the motet was O quam gloriosum est regnum by Tomás Luis de Victoria.
Afterwards nearly 150 invited guests were received by the Bishop and Mrs Susan Colton at the Bishop’s Palace for tea, coffee and plenty of home baking. In time honoured tradition, the scouts of 2nd Cork (St Fin Barre’s) – the Bishop’s own old scout group – were on hand to do the washing up. A full gallery of photographs is found here.