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Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

Parnell in RCB Library

The Representative Church Body Library, the Church of Ireland’s library and repository for archives, is well known for its extensive collection of parish registers, but it also holds a wide range of lesser–known documents covering many diverse aspects of Irish history. Its current Archive of the Month presentation examines one such document.

Among the hidden treasures in the Library is an extraordinary letter written by Charles Stewart Parnell, the influential leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party. This article examines the historical significance of the letter, which was discovered by chance within the library’s holdings. Dated February 1882 and composed during Parnell’s imprisonment in Kilmainham Gaol, the letter offers a valuable snapshot of the activities surrounding the Land War, and highlights Parnell’s role in advocating for the rights of tenant farmers.

The memo addresses a seemingly paradoxical situation as Parnell, known for championing the tenants’ cause, requests the collection of rents owed by his own tenants. Exploring the context and motivations behind this letter, the article highlights Parnell’s political strategies, and the delicate balance he maintained between parliamentary lobbying and grassroots activism.

This particular period of incarceration culminated in the Kilmainham Treaty, a pivotal agreement between Parnell and Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone, which brought significant concessions for Irish tenants, and marked a watershed moment on the Irish political scene.  By revealing this letter, the article contributes to a broader understanding of Parnell’s leadership, and helps to illustrate the multi–faceted historical resources available within the RCB Library.  The full feature about the letter is available at www.ireland.anglican.org/library/archive

Bishop Trevor Williams will preach in Christ Church cathedral, Dublin, at the Pride Service at 3.30pm tomorrow (Sunday). He will also be received as a patron of Changing Attitude Ireland at the service, which will be conducted by the Dean. There will be refreshments after the service in the south transept, at which CAI items will be available.

The Music in Calary 2023 series continues next week in Calary parish church, Co. Wicklow at 8pm. Tomorrow (Sunday) Yue Tang (cello) and Feargal Caulfield (piano) will play works by Bach, Beethoven and Brahms and on Thursday, pianist Brendan Kennedy will play pieces from the Rachmaninoff 150 concert. Tickets may be booked at 01–2818118 or at derekneilson11@gmail.com

On Monday morning the Archbishop of Dublin will visit Whitechurch National School to bless the new outdoor classroom and historical mural that is celebrating 200 years of the school.  In the evening at 6pm the series of organ recitals continues in Christ Church cathedral, Dublin. The recitalist will be Simon Hogan from Southwark cathedral, London.

On Tuesday at 1.15pm the lunchtime recital in St Mary’s cathedral, Limerick, will be given by Alona Kliuchka (cello) and Irina Dernova (piano). The music will include Schubert’s famous ‘Arpeggione’ sonata.

Summer Music at Sandford continues in Sandford parish church, Ranelagh, on Friday, at 1.10pm,  Marion Creely (soprano), Adam McDonagh (piano) & Hannaville String Quartet ‘Unsheltered Spring’ will perform works by Debussy, Brahms, Massenet and O’Duffy.

In St Patrick’s cathedral, Dublin, inevitably at the end of one school year there are those who are graduating from the choir, and, consequently, the recruitment drive is on to find new choristers who receive a first class musical experience and education, starting 3rd or 4th class this September. St Patrick’s has the distinction of having the only choir school in the country, which, dating back to 1432, is also the oldest school in Ireland. Any parent/guardian wishing to organise a voice trial for their son or daughter is invited to e–mail Stuart Nicholson at music@stpatrickscathedral.ie

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