Ballinrobe (Mayo)

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Image - Historical Ballinrobe (From Maggie Lang Blanck Postcard Collection)
Image - Historical Ballinrobe (From Maggie Lang Blanck Postcard Collection)

St. Mary’s Church, Ballinrobe, was completed and opened in 1863.  It is best known for its stained-glass windows that form part of the largest collection of Harry Clarke windows in Ireland.

The building of the church started in 1849 but was delayed due to the death of Richard Pierce, the architect, and the scarcity of money as a result of the famine.  Over the years many developments took place in the building and these enlarge the church. In c 1885 a new sacristry was built with a large stained-glass window added c 1880.  New gates and railings were added in front of the Church while the tower, steeple, and new bell were consecrated c 1894.  In 1912 a new mortuary chapel was built with further improvements to the organ gallery, the insertion of marble rails, steps, and bronze gates.

In 1924, Monsignor D’Alton PP asked Harry Clarke to create windows.  According to Averil Staunton (Liquid Light, Stained-glass Windows of St. Mary's Church, Ballinrobe, County Mayo, 2015),

"While hidden from view for many years, it was recently revealed when the organ was removed and the panels of the organ gallery, previously timber, were replaced with glass. St. Brigid and St. Colmcille share this location together with their symbols.

This window was inserted into the original mullions in 1930 prior to the death of Harry Clarke in 1931."

To prepare for the 150th anniversary in 2013, the church had much work done.  This included a redesign of the organ gallery which meant a clear view of Harry Clarke's Saints Brigid, Patrick, and Colmcille installation.


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