Class Glass – Harry Clarke Part 2


St Gormgail the Confessor of Ardoilean and St Keiran

St Gormgail the Confessor and St Keiran

St Mary’s Church in Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo has many windows by Irish illustrator/stained glass artist Harry Clarke. (Link: Harry Clarke 1889-1931)

There are sixteen panels plus a large triple window in the organ gallery showing scenes from the life of Christ and images of Irish saints. The Irish saints are mainly locals and include St Enda of Aran, after whom our (add your own choice of adjective here) Taoiseach must be named. Our camera did an okay job of catching the windows, though it doesn’t do justice to Clarke’s brilliant colours. If you are a Clarke fan then the windows in Ballinrobe and Newport are definitely worth seeking out next time you’re in Mayo. Click on an image for larger image/info.


Harry Clarke -part 1


In October we did a Once Upon a Place school visit in Cross, Co. Mayo. Afterwards we visited Cong, famous as the village from The Quiet Man. There’s a lovely wee bookshop on the bridge and the owner noticed us looking at a book about the Irish stained-glass artist, Harry Clarke.

‘You should check out the church in Ballinrobe,’ he said. ‘There are a load of his windows there.’ We had to go  through Ballinrobe town on our way back to our B&B so seeking them out was a no-brainer.

‘You know there are some of his windows here in Cong?’ the bookshop man said, almost as an afterthought. And there are. The Holy Family windows, now housed in the ultra modern church in front of the old abbey, where we’d never have thought of looking.

These are the Cong windows. You can walk right up and see this work in all its intricate detail. Click and scroll on the photos for larger images. Shots of the lovely Ballinrobe windows next week.

Click here for info on Harry Clarke, Irish illustrator and stained glass artist, 1889-1931.

Footnote: Mayo claims to have no less than 17 churches with Harry Clarke windows. Windows classified as his can mean they are (a) his design and making (b) his design and he oversaw them being made, or (c) his design/studio. It seems that in the list of 17 Mayo churches there is also (d) – windows by his father, Joshua Clarke. Not sure where the Cong windows fall in the classification, either (b) or (c). They are not on a lot of ‘official’ lists of his work. Watch out for them next time you see The Quiet Man; they are in their original setting. Apparently the Duke was made slow down his walk so Ford could get a good shot of them in the background.