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Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

Marsh’s Library changes

Ever since the foundation of Marsh’s Library in 1707, the members of the Board charged with overseeing the building and its collections of rare books and manuscripts have been known as the ‘Governors & Guardians’. Over the centuries famous members of the Board have included Jonathan Swift and the ‘Hanging Judge’, Lord Norbury.

Under the terms of the National Cultural Institutions Act (1997), the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media can appoint two Governors & Guardians for a maximum period of up to 10 years’. One of the Minister’s appointees, Dr Philip Maddock, has recently completed a decade of distinguished service to the Library and so must retire. 

Dr Maddock is a radiation oncologist based in Providence, Rhode Island, in the USA. He is a native of Skreen Road in Dublin 7 and was educated at Coláiste Mhuire in Parnell Street and UCD. He was appointed a ‘Governor & Guardian’ because he is an internationally recognised expert on eighteenth–century Irish books and book–binding. His 2017 exhibition in Dublin Castle on the gorgeously–bound Irish Parliamentary Journals destroyed in the Four Courts at the start of the Civil War received warm international praise.

Philip and his wife Niamh generously fund the Maddock Research Fellowships which have brought almost 100 international scholars to conduct research in Marsh’s Library for periods of between one week and three months. Just as Philip retired from the Board, the Library elected 18 new Maddock Research Fellows for 2023–24.

There will shortly be a public call for applications via the Public Appointments Service for suitably qualified candidates to fill the vacancy on the Board left by Dr Maddock. Those who sit as ‘Governors & Guardians’ of Marsh’s Library receive no payment, fees, or expenses of any kind in return for their service.

Marsh’s Library is a remarkable 18th century building which holds an intriguing collection of books, manuscripts and curios. It is open to visitors Tuesday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm, and Saturday 10am to 6pm.

Today (Saturday) Christ Church Cathedral Choir, from Houston, Texas, will sing Choral Evensong  in St. Patrick’s cathedral, Dublin, at 6pm, and on Wednesday they will sing Choral Evensong in St Anne’s cathedral, Belfast, at 5.30 pm.

In Dublin, tomorrow (Sunday) the 11am Eucharist and Evensong at 3.30pm in Christ Church cathedral will be sung by the choir of Christ Church cathedral, Houston, Texas, while in St Patrick’s cathedral the visiting choir will be from St Bride’s church, Ontario.

On Tuesday at 1.15pm the lunchtime concert in St Mary’s cathedral, Limerick, will feature by Ruth Kelly (soprano) and Irina Dernova (piano) who will perform operatic arias.

The St Barrahane’s Festival of Music is again underway in St Barrahane’s church, Castletownshend, Co. Cork,  and on Thursday at 8pm there will be a concert by Musici Ireland featuring flute, violin and viola. The Festival was started in 1980 by Michael Sokolov–Grant with the help of Angela Eborall with the purpose of providing music on summer evenings, and has taken place annually ever since. The church was built in 1826, on land donated by the Townshend family. From street level to the door it has 52 steps, one for each Sunday of the year. The seating capacity is around 200. The church has three wonderful stained glass windows by the renowned Irish artist Harry Clarke.

Aspects of the life of St Patrick’s cathedral, Dublin, have been filmed for the RTÉ television programme, Nationwide. The provisional transmission time is 7pm next Thursday an RTÉ One.

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