Ministers O’Brien & Noonan announce €1 million to support restoration works at St Patrick’s Cathedral
Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD and Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan TD have allocated €1 million to St Patrick’s Cathedral to ensure the completion of repair works on main roof.
St Patrick’s Cathedral is the largest medieval church in Ireland. It is one of Ireland’s most important historic structures, still operating for its original purpose 800 years after its construction. Although substantially restored in the mid-nineteenth century, the Cathedral still retains a significant amount of medieval fabric, including medieval roof timbers. St. Patrick’s was initiated by the arrival of the Normans to Ireland in 1169, the existing timber church on the site was rebuilt in the new stone technologies of the time and in 1191 Archbishop John Comyn raised the status of Saint Patrick’s to that of a Cathedral. This made St. Patrick’s with Christchurch Cathedral one of two cathedral’s in Dublin, which was unusual for medieval times.
In announcing the funding Minister O Brien said:
“St Patrick’s, in terms of its location, antiquity and scale is one of the most important buildings on the island of Ireland. To pause the roof project would entail not only financial risk but a grave physical risk to the future of this historic medieval building. I know that all financial plans were carefully stress tested, but the Cathedral could never have envisaged undertaking the project through a time where it experienced zero income due to the necessary public health restrictions in place to combat COVID-19. Along with Minister Noonan I am very pleased to announce additional support of €1m today.”
Minister Noonan added:
“Saint Patrick’s Cathedral is of significant economic importance to surrounding businesses in this area of Dublin. It is one of Ireland’s most important historic structures, still operating for its original purpose 800 years after its construction, and, in normal times welcoming in excess of 600,000 visitors annually. It is also important to note that the major national roof conservation project at the Cathedral provides employment for many skilled Irish craftspeople.”
The Cathedral has been involved in an ongoing conservation repair programme with the most significant part of the programme being the repair of the main roof. The Conservation works will continue into next year.
Commenting on the announcement, the Dean and Ordinary of Saint Patrick's Cathedral, the Very Reverend Dr William Morton, said:
"My gratitude to the Department is immeasurable for the kindness behind this major grant of €1million to the Roof project of Saint Patrick's Cathedral.
"This most welcome funding towards this essential work will ensure that the Cathedral is conserved and continues to serve as one of Ireland's top listed buildings in terms of heritage and culture in the widest sense - ecclesiastically, musically, architecturally, and economically - as a destination ever increasing in popularity in the higher regions of visitors' 'must see' list in Dublin.
"Saint Patrick's Cathedral offers a rich and compelling cultural experience, and this grant strikes a chord of optimism that 2021 and beyond will augur well in terms of the return of visitors - national and international - whom we look forward to welcoming to our vibrant cathedral community.
"I wish to offer my deepest thanks to Minister Darragh O'Brien and to Minister of State in his department, Malcolm Noonan for their much appreciated help and support."