Sunday, 6 March 2011

An Irish Druid's Tree & Church Art

In the village of Pollagh, County Offaly, there is a church which stands close to the banks of The Royal Canal, from the outside it is visually quite plain. Being of a simple design it appears to be quite humble, for this building was quite literally built by the people of the community, the bricks were made locally and the work was also done by them, a gift given freely and greater than any cash donation.

On opening the narrow double doors and entering one is met with a glorious & breath taking sight of the Chancel.

So !

Let the eyes see.

The open heart feel deeply.

The mind understand

Broad depths of humanity.

The Chancel

The Altar

The Font

The Lectern

The Tabernacle

Stained glass windows by the late Harry Clarke

The Altar Server's seat.

Pullough Church was the first commission for Michael Casey and the artists of Celtic Roots in1991 in this locality.

The Altar furniture was created from Bog Yew and has been carbon dated as being 4,800 years old.

The artist reflects on the making of the altar table's plinth

"I would take it out on my trolley into the garden and allow the winter sun to light it up, and as figures began to emerge in the fusion of sunlight and instinct, there were moments when it was no longer a piece of wood but a celebration of life… "

Yew was one of the traditional trees of the ancient druids, the other tree is Rowan and unlike the druids of other countries Oak was not revered.


  1. Thanks for leading me to Harry Clarke's creative genius ~ I like the sound of him from what I read, the non conformist elements and how his work progressed from solely the ecclesiastical. Unusual amount of mauve spectrum colours in the pics on t his post.

  2. Absolutely gorgeous work, I love wood where the spirits and creatures come to life! The colors marvelous! Going to get a drool bucket now, that altar is incredible! Thanks for posting :) Debs

  3. The inside of that little church is so beautiful. Even the spirituality comes through in the photographs. The yew carvings are amazing. The people that attend there so obviously care for it with love. HV that was a lovely post, thank you!

  4. Beautiful in its' simplicity.
    And the feeling in there was lovely - could have spent ages just stroking the bog yew.

  5. Absolutely beautiful. Words cannot do it justice. I think you would have to be there to truly feel its beauty.

  6. I want to tell your Jane, Mel, that this photo of her is beautiful...she has such a peace about her and I would recognize her anywhere from when I saw her on the Skype and from the way you speak of her. I read her painting 'music' is my kind of music..Leonard Cohen and Led Zeppelin..lots of good imaging with those artists. And on a more mondane note...I love her jewelry in the pic.
    This church is wonderful...I wish I were there..I would like to spend much time in it!

  7. Jane say's "Thank you" and you are correct about her being 'at peace' Except when she is playing Led Zepplin at 11+ !

  8. Oh that is just amazing, it must feel wonderful in there!

  9. Its very beautiful.
    Just seen your comment.Better outside now, the flowers are blooming and the weather is gentler.

  10. The photos are looks like a wonderful place.
    I am looking forward to visiting some paternal great-grandfather was from County Tipperary.

  11. I thought I would return your visit and come over to meet you properly. I was very interested to see all your photos, as my Husbands family are Irish (Co Limerick). He worked in Dublin for a year and we had a rented house at Laytown, which was my first chance to really explore his homeland and I love it.
    Funny enough, we toyed for a long time with the idea of moving to Ireland, before ending up in Glastonbury.
    Pleased to make your aquaintance- be back soon.

  12. What a fabulous whole -- every piece beautiful.

  13. Absolutely stunning,both the incredible use of the natural wood and the vibrant colours of the glass.A real treat.Thank you

  14. Love that Jane for playing Zeppelin at 11! What other time would be better, Mel? When the Levy Breaks is most appropriate right now.

  15. This should be of interest -


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