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Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

Armagh Robinson Library Lecture

The Georgian character that the architecture within the City of Armagh enjoys today can be traced back to the time of Richard Robinson, who was the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh from 1765 to 1794. One of the first architects that Robinson regularly employed was Thomas Cooley who, baptised in London in 1742, first came to Ireland in 1769 after winning a competition to design the Royal Exchange (now the City Hall) building in Dublin. Cooley subsequently designed several buildings within the city and Diocese of Armagh for Archbishop Robinson, including Armagh Robinson Library and the Royal School. Original drawings for some of these buildings form part of the collection held at Armagh Robinson Library.

To celebrate World Architecture Day, which falls next Monday, the Library has organised an online talk on ‘Thomas Cooley: A Remarkable and Short Career’. Beginning at 7.30pm, it will be delivered by architectural historian, Dr Michael O’Neill, FSA. Speaking ahead of the lecture, which has been supported by the Northern Ireland Museums Council, Dr O’Neill stated, “Cooley’s contribution to making Armagh one of the most appealing Georgian towns in Ulster cannot be gainsaid. His influence on Irish ecclesiastical architecture was also immense.”

Cooley also designed several Irish country houses, including Caledon House, Co. Tyrone. Lord Caledon, the Lord Lieutenant of County Armagh, will introduce Dr O’Neill’s lecture. Free places for the Zoom lecture can be obtained online here.

An accompanying online exhibition on Thomas Cooley’s career, and related items held within the Armagh Robinson Library collection, will be launched to coincide with the lecture. This can be viewed here from today (Saturday).

The Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Revd John McDowell, has appointed Mr Brian Acheson as the Chairman of the Keeper’s Council which is tasked with fundraising for the Armagh Robinson Library. Mr Acheson is a management consultant who has worked, on a pro bono basis, with a range of third sector organizations on strategic, governance and change management challenges. He is a member of the Select Vestry of St Columba’s, Knock, and has been a member of the Down & Dromore Diocesan Synod. He has previously been Chairman of the Governing Body of Castlereagh College and the South East Regional College and is a former Chairman of the Association of Northern Ireland Colleges.

The Armagh Robinson Library is seeking to raise £1 million to create an endowment fund. If successful this sum will be matched by the National Heritage Lottery Fund. Like many old foundations, the income which is available from its historic funds is no longer adequate for the Library’s needs. If it is to survive and develop its potential as a significant cultural resource for the city of Armagh and beyond a successful fundraising campaign is essential.

Tomorrow (Sunday) the Morning Service on BBC Radio Ulster will be led by the Revd Adrian Dorrian, Team Vicar in the Lecale Area Mission Partnership in the Diocese of  Down. The programme will be broadcast at 10.15 am  and will have a Harvest theme.

The Revd Nigel Pierpoint has been appointed Rector of Taney parish in the Diocese of Dublin, where he currently serves as Curate.  He succeeds Canon Robert Warren who retired in March. The brother of the Archdeacon of Dublin, the Ven David Pierpoint, he was born in Santry and was a chorister in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin. He was ordained deacon in 2015 and priested in 2016. He has served in Taney since his ordination to the diaconate.

Church of Ireland Notes

Published in the Saturday edition of The Irish Times

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