Musical Evening at St Mary’s Church, Carrigaline

St Mary’s Church in Carrigaline is holding a Musical Evening on Saturday, 23rd September 2023 at 7.30 pm. For more information contact the Rev. Canon Elaine Murray.

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Celebrity Organ Recital – Naji Hakim at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral

This year the organ of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral will be ten years old, or more correctly it is ten years since the Irish organ builder Trevor Crowe gave the existing organ a full rebuild and added significantly to its makeup. To mark that birthday there will be a celebrity recital on 23rd September at 7.30pm when the famous organist and composer Naji Hakim will be flying over to Cork from the south of France. Tickets are available on the Cathedral Webstore and on Eventbrite.

Organist Naji Hakim

The renowned composer and organist Naji Hakim was born in Beirut but he studied the organ in France with Jean Langlais. He was the organist of the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, Paris from 1985 until 1993, before becoming organist of l’église de la Trinité (1993-2008), in succession to Olivier Messiaen.

In 2010 it was decided in some way to return to the vision of the cathedral architect, William Burges, of having both an organ in the west gallery and a choir organ close to the choir stalls, while retaining much of the instrument in the organ pit in the north transept. The whole instrument was removed from the organ pit in 2011 and a new frame was constructed to contain a new and more practical layout, one which would also allow the restored pipes to ‘speak’ more clearly into the cathedral. A key principle in this regard was, as far as was possible, to return the pipes to their original voicing. Work continued in the organ pit, following the full renovation of the pit and north transept in early 2013 with the full rebuild being completed by October that year. 

With over 4,500 pipes (including the 3,012 originals) the cathedral organ is one of the largest in Ireland. The celebrity recital will include works by Bach, Franck, Langlais and by Hakim himself, and it will end with an improvisation, for which the great French organists are so famous. Refreshments will be available during the interval, including a birthday cake!

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St James’s Church, Mallow Harvest Thanksgiving – Call for Local Growers and Producers to showcase their work


St James’s Church of Ireland in Mallow is holding its annual Harvest Thanksgiving celebrations over the weekend of 22nd to 24th September this year. It begins on Friday 22nd September with the weekly Mallow Farmers’ Market from 9am to 1pm. On the same evening at 7.30pm, there will be a concert in the church organised by the Mallow Arts Collective, featuring a range of musical talent in the town and the surrounding area.

On Saturday 23rd, the church would like to offer local craftspeople, growers and producers an opportunity to showcase and sell their work. The church will not charge for stalls in the church grounds, but it would be helpful if they could be booked in advance and stall-holders are asked to bring their own tables and coverings.

The Rector of St James’s, the Reverend Meurig Williams, is keen to support and encourage the range of skills and crafts in the town and surrounding area.

I know there is a great deal of talent out there, along with culinary, horticultural and agricultural skills, and it would be very good if we can offer people a shop window in our central location in the town to tie-in with our harvest celebrations. I hope this acts as incentive for more people to visit Mallow over the weekend, and to make use of all the businesses in the town when they are here.

As well as the stalls of produce, arts and crafts, there will be exhibitions on a harvest and environmental theme in the church. Refreshments will be served in church throughout the Festival.

The Festival will end with ‘Songs of Praise’, a popular service of hymns and well-loved music at 3.00pm on Sunday 24 th September. The speaker will be Canon Tom Sherlock, chaplain of Kingston College, Mitchelstown. The collection at this service will be shared between the Mallow Day Care Centre and Meals on Wheels.

Anyone interested in having a stall at the Harvest market can contact the Rector at or 022 21473.

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Three Choristers at Charles Wood Summer School

Three choristers from St Fin Barre’s Cathedral Choir attended the Charles Wood Girls’ Choir residential course, part of the Charles Wood Summer School in Armagh, during their summer vacation.

Lucy writes:

On the 29th of August, the three of us drove almost five hours to the Royal School of Armagh to attend a week long course for the Charles Wood Festival. There were roughly thirty other girls from all over the island of Ireland participating. The week involved a lot of learning new music, performing, workshops with world famous composers and other fun activities.

There was a lot of new music to learn, which was a bit daunting at first but, as the week went on, everyone became more familiar with the music and each other and the rehearsals got a lot easier. We learned a great variety of music, from arrangements of Irish folk songs such as ‘Cockles and Mussels’ and ‘The Star of the County Down’, both arranged by Stuart Nicholson, to ‘Oculi Omnium’ which was a special commission from Jack Oades for the Charles Wood Girls’ Choir.

For me, the most memorable experience during the course were the two workshops that we attended, one with John Rutter and the other with Bob Chilcott. Both were so enjoyable and it was fascinating to listen to them tell us about their composing process, and we even got to perform Bob Chilcott’s ‘Be Thou My Vision’ for him!

Aside from singing, the week also included some other fun activities. We played team building games to get to know each other, we went to the cinema to watch Barbie, we had a movie night within the Royal School, went on a shopping trip to Sainsbury’s (the first time in there for us three), took some drama classes and participated in a talent show. I loved the talent show because I learned so much more about the other girls on the course and got to display some of my own talent too. 

Overall, the Charles Wood Summer School was a fantastic opportunity to improve my skills as a chorister. I was surrounded by great teachers from whom I learned so much. I also made friends with lots of like-minded people who shared the same passion for music as me. This week was definitely the highlight of my summer and I can’t wait to return next year.

Suzanne writes:

I had a wonderful experience in Armagh and I can’t wait to return next year. I learnt so much, both from our director Ian Keatley, and from the workshops we were so lucky to partake in, given by the living legends John Rutter and Bob Chilcott.

The program was interesting, challenging and of course fun, including both Stanford and folk tunes.  I made so many new friends and loved having other people from St Fin Barre’s with me. We had some very funny moments over lunch and dinner, the lack of phones forcing us to get creative. By the end of the week it might have been fair to say we had lost the plot a little but we were all very sad to leave.

I’ll miss the seemingly never ending juice and hot chocolate breaks as well as our little adventures out in to ‘the real world’, going to the Barbie movie and the ever exhilarating Sainsbury’s! I’m so grateful to the boarding team for giving their time so we could have this opportunity. They were awesome, once letting us stay up until midnight, a treat compared to the rigorously enforced bedtimes on cathedral choir trips. 

Niamh writes:

On the first day I couldn’t help but feel a mix of nervousness and excitement. Little did I know that the week ahead would be filled with new friendships and unforgettable moments. 

Every day was a perfect balance of hard work and fun activities. We watched the Barbie movie in the cinema, had an in-house talent show and we all also enjoyed a lot of ice cream. Additionally during the week, we had the privilege of meeting the renowned composers John Rutter and Bob Chilcott. Their insightful workshops and personal stories inspired us all.

Our performances were the highlight of the week. The first one was a mass at St Malachy’s Church, Armagh and the second was a lunchtime concert in St Mark’s Church, Portadown. The grand finale was a gala concert in St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, where we performed in front of a packed audience. We sang pieces such as ‘A Song of Wisdom’ by Charles Villiers Stanford and ‘Oculi Omnium’ by Jack Oades.

In conclusion the week was an unforgettable experience, from the performances and all the new friends made. I hope to return next year!

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Fountainstown Tragedy – Statement from Bishop Paul Colton and Templebreedy National School

On behalf of the entire community at Templebreedy National School, Crosshaven, County Cork, the Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton, as Patron of the school, the school Principal, Doris Bryan, and the Chairperson of the Board of Management, Michael Hodder, have made the following statement.

‘The entire school community in our small Church of Ireland school in Crosshaven, County Cork, together with the local parish and community, are in shock and are utterly devastated at the death of our 2nd class pupil Emili Roman. Most of all we are all heartbroken for Emili’s family and loved ones.’

‘Emili would have been eight years old tomorrow. Emili and her twin brother Jeremy have been in our school since they joined Junior Infants in 2020’.

Doris Bryan, the school principal, who is also Emili’s class-teacher in second class, describes her as:

“kind, with a bubbly personality. She had a beautiful smile. She was greatly loved by everyone and was very popular with all her friends. She was also very artistic and a gifted young girl. On behalf of the school I extend our deepest sympathies to Emili’s parents, Marta and Slawomir, her older sister Inga and her twin brother Jeremy. We are doing our best at the moment to make our school a safe space for all our school community to be together and to support each other as we remember Emili and come to terms with what has happened. Again our primary focus, for Emili’s sake, is with her family and loved ones.

‘The school has implemented its Critical Incident Plan. Psychologists from the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) are already here and are supporting and advising the school in our efforts to stand alongside everyone in our school community, especially students and staff.  We are also being supported by our local clergy and our bishop who are here too.’

Bishop Paul Colton, patron of the school, said:

‘Most of us cannot begin to imagine the suffering that this family must now be going through. We are all, however, in shock and devastated. On behalf of us all in the Church of Ireland, in general, and in connection with Templebreedy National School and Templebreedy Parish, in particular, I too extend our sincere sympathy to everyone in the Roman family, to Emili’s mother, Marta, father Slawomir, twin brother Jeremy, and older sister Inga.’

‘A tragedy like this is having a traumatic effect also on this small parish school at the start of this new school year, and also the wider community. I am visiting the school this morning and throughout the day. Practical support and prayers are assured for everyone in the school community, for Emili’s family, her fellow students, the school Principal, Doris Bryan, the teachers, staff, parents/guardians and members of the Board of Management. I extend sympathy to you all. I am also very conscious of the role played by the first responders, some of whom I know personally, and everyone in the rescue services and I’m conscious of the impact a tragedy such as this has on each of them as individuals’

‘My thoughts and prayers are with you all.’

Further information from: Denise Stobart, Diocesan Media Officer, United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross. Email:

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