Skip to main content
Cathedral Chronicles

Cathedral Chronicles

By Cathedral Chronicles
The Cathedral of Ss Patrick and Colman is a Gothic Revival masterpiece in the heart of Newry city in the North-East of Ireland. It was built towards the end of a long period when Catholic worship had been restricted and, at times, forbidden. Each episode will tell the story of the cathedral in short instalments as it approaches its bicentenary in 2029. We’ll meet the people who built it. We’ll discover its works of art from Italian mosaic to German stained glass. We’ll learn about an assassination, fires and bombs that threatened to destroy it.
Where to listen
Amazon Music Logo

Amazon Music

Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Castbox Logo

Castbox

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo

Overcast

Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo

RadioPublic

Spotify Logo

Spotify

Stitcher Logo

Stitcher

Currently playing episode

#5: Secrets Of The Tower

Cathedral Chronicles

1x
#6: The Way Of The Cross
In this episode we will finish telling the story of the second great building phase of the cathedral. We’ll solve the mysteries of the bricked-up doorway in the tower and the buried archway under the transept. We’ll learn how they built the transepts despite having very limited space available and we’ll find out who made the pulpit, high altar and communion railings. Credits This episode was written produced and presented by Mark Byrne, with additional material adapted from the work of Reverend Edward Campbell and other sources as detailed below. This docuemntary project is base don research conducted by Louis Spencer, Desmond McMahon, Micheál Murphy, Edmund Murtagh, Dalton Short and Mark G. Byrne. Guest contributors for this episode are cathedral tour guides, Edmund Murtagh, Dalton Short and Desmond McMahon. Newspaper sources: New Marble Pulipt for Newry Cathedral - Freeman’s Journal, May 26th, 1893  IMPROVEMENTS IN NEWRY THE PRO.CATHEDRAL HILL STREET, Newry Telegraph November 16th 1893 The Cathedral Newry - Completion of the new high Memorial altar. Freeman’s Journal Friday, October 5th 1894. Peel of Bells for the Cathedral. Newry Reporter, 14th November 1898 Music Original music ‘Piano Trio in G 1. Allegro Moderato’ composed specially for this series by Kevin Canavan. ©2022 Kevin Canavan. All Rights Reserved. Soundcloud.com/kevycanavan Additional content on Facebook and YouTube Like us on Facebook for additional content or to get in touch: https://www.fb.com/cathedralchronicles Help us to grow our audience If you’re enjoying the series, please us a review on Podchaser: https://www.podchaser.com/cathedralchronicles Support our work by donating an item of equipment from the Amazon wish list at the link below https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/3STTP01SZO48S?ref_=wl_share Support our work by advertising your business on this show To enquire about advertising your business on this show, please email mark@cathedralchronicles.com Copyright information Cathedral Chronicles is produced by a team of volunteers with the cooperation of Newry Cathedral Parish and the Diocese of Dromore. Neither Newry Cathedral Parish nor the Diocese of Dromore claims ownership of, or responsibility for, the content of this podcast. ©2022 Mark G. Byrne. All Rights Reserved.
23:17
July 16, 2022
Bonus Episode: The Dominicans in Newry
In this episode, the Newry historian, Anthony Russell, will explore the 150-year story of the Dominicans in Newry. From humble beginnings with a community of just five men living in a small house on Hyde Market to the building of the magnificent Church of The Sacred Heart and Saint Catherine of Sienna in the 19th century. We’ll learn how, in the 20thcentury, the Dominicans adapted to the reforms of the second Vatican council and how they reached out to other denominations. And we’ll hear how, more recently, they established a new lectio centre and how they dealt with the challenges of the pandemic. This episode was written and presented by Anthony Russell, and it was produced by Mark G. Byrne. Acknowledgements This episode owes much to the editor and contributors of the 1928 Newry Dominican Golden Jubilee Magazine. Music Original music ‘Piano Trio in G 1. Allegro Moderato’ composed specially for this series by Kevin Canavan. ©2022 Kevin Canavan. All Rights Reserved. Soundcloud.com/kevycanavan Additional content on Facebook and YouTube Like us on Facebook for additional content or to get in touch: https://www.fb.com/cathedralchronicles Help us to grow our audience If you’re enjoying the series, please us a review on Podchaser: https://www.podchaser.com/cathedralchronicles Support our work by donating an item of equipment from the Amazon wish list at the link below https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/3STTP01SZO48S?ref_=wl_share Support our work by advertising your business on this show To enquire about advertising your business on this show, please email mark@cathedralchronicles.com Copyright information Cathedral Chronicles is produced by a team of volunteers with the cooperation of Newry Cathedral Parish and the Diocese of Dromore. Neither Newry Cathedral Parish nor the Diocese of Dromore claims ownership of, or responsibility for, the content of this podcast. ©2022 Anthony Russell. All Rights Reserved.
25:00
June 08, 2022
#5: Secrets Of The Tower
In this episode, we will begin to explore the second building scheme that made monumental additions to Newry Cathedral between 1888 to 1892. We’ll share newly uncovered details of the scheme, that were not included in any of the previously published histories of the cathedral, thanks to research by Dalton Short. The scheme added two transepts, a new sacristy, a magnificent bell tower and much more. We’ll take you behind the scenes, inside the bell tower, where we’ll find a collection of artefacts dating back to the earliest days of the cathedral. We’ll learn about Bishop Thomas McGivern who oversaw the work and the prolific Cork architect George Coppinger Ashlin who designed the improvements. Additional content on Facebook and YouTube Like us on Facebook for additional content or to get in touch: https://www.fb.com/cathedralchronicles Help us to grow our audience If you’re enjoying the series, please us a review on Podchaser: https://www.podchaser.com/cathedralchronicles Support our work by donating an item of equipment from the Amazon wish list at the link below https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/3STTP01SZO48S?ref_=wl_share Support our work by advertising your business on this show To enquire about advertising your business on this show, please email mark@cathedralchronicles.com  Credits This episode was written produced and presented by me, Mark Byrne, with additional material adapted from various works as detailed in the description, including new newspaper sources recently found by Dalton Short. Linda Byrne provided the voiceover for various newspaper articles. Music Original music ‘Piano Trio in G 1. Allegro Moderato’ composed specially for this series by Kevin Canavan. ©2022 Kevin Canavan. All Rights Reserved. Soundcloud.com/kevycanavan References: 1.  Dean A. Davies, ‘Bishops associated with the building of the cathedral’ in Seanchas Dhroim Mór, the journal of Dromore Diocesan Historical Society. 2.  Mildred Dunne, ‘The early career of George Coppinger Ashlin (1859-1869) Gothic Revival architect.’ Thesis submission to the University of Trinity College, October 2001. 3.  ‘John Pius Leahy, O.P., Bishop of Dromore.’ Part I & II. The Irish Monthly, Nov., 1890, Vol. 18, No. 209 (Nov., 1890), pp. 561-570 - Irish Jesuit Province. 4.  Rev. Edward Campbell. ‘Cathedral of SS. Patrick and Colman Newry’. P. Bennett, Hill Street, Newry, 1948. 5.  Fr. Michael Murtagh, ‘St. Patrick’s Dundalk an anniversary account’, 1997. Bellew Print, Dundalk. Newspaper articles: 1.  ‘IMPROVEMENTS IN HILL STREET CATHEDRAL’, Newry Reporter 24th Sept 1887 2.  ‘Tenders’ - Newry Reporter 6th February 1888 3.  ‘ST. PATRICK'S CATHEDRAL NEWRY - COMPLETION OF THE NEW TOWER’. Irish News, 19th December 1892 4.  ‘IMPROVEMENTS IN NEWRY, Newry Telegraph November 16th 1893. 5.  ‘Death of Most Reverend Pius Leahy....’ The Dundalk Democrat and People’s Journal, September 13th, 1890. Copyright information Neither Newry Cathedral Parish nor the Diocese of Dromore claims ownership of, or responsibility for, the content of this podcast. ©2022 Mark G. Byrne. All Rights Reserved.
24:03
May 20, 2022
#4: A Genius For Dilapidation
In this episode we will hear about a visit to Newry of Daniel O’Connell and a controversial meeting held by Bishop Michael Blake at the cathedral in O’Connell’s honour. We’ll learn how, just over a decade after its dedication, the cathedral was in such a state of dilapidation that it drew public criticism from the English novelist, William Makepeace Thackeray. We will discover how the Bishop responded to Thackeray’s criticism by conducting further work on the cathedral by the Newry architect W.J Barre. We'll meet the Dominican, Dr Pius Leahy, the Bishop of Dromore who did not want the job. Help us to grow our audience If you’re enjoying the series, please us a review on Podchaser: https://www.podchaser.com/cathedralchronicles Support our work by donating an item of equipment from the Amazon wish list at the link below https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/3STTP01SZO48S?ref_=wl_share Support our work by advertising your business on this show To enquire about advertising your business on this show, please email mark@cathedralchronicles.com Additional content on Facebook Like us on Facebook for additional content or to get in touch: https://www.fb.com/cathedralchronicles Credits This episode was written, produced, and presented by me, Mark Byrne, with additional material adapted from the work of Reverend Edward Campbell and other sources. Check the description for details. Our guest contributor was Anthony Russell with Fr Callum Young as Thackery, Dalton Short as the Newry Telegraph reporter and Micheál Murphy as Bishop Blake. Sound effect bbc.co.uk © 2022 BBC. References ‘Cathedral of SS. Patrick and Colman Newry – Brief historical and descriptive survey’, Rev. Edward Campbell. P. Bennett, Hill Street, Newry, 1948. Various newspaper sources as detailed in the podcast. John Pius Leahy, O.P., Bishop of Dromore. The Irish Monthly , Nov., 1890, Vol. 18, No. 209 (Nov., 1890), pp. 561-570 Published by: Irish Jesuit Province. https://www.jstor.org/stable/20498110 Newspaper articles: 1. The Newry Telegraph, April 11th 1839, ‘Mr. O’Connell in Newry’, ‘O’Connell in Newry’. 2. Freeman's Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser, Friday December 13th 1839, Great meeting in Newry – O’Connell Tribute’. 3. Freeman’s Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser, Wednesday, June 28th 1848, ‘Newry Cathedral – A New Organ’. 4. The Newry Telegraph, September 20th, 1851, ‘Improvements in Newry Roman Catholic Cathedral’. 5. Freeman’s Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser, Monday, June 28th, 1880, ‘The Late Very Rev. Father Pacificus’. Music Original music ‘Piano Trio in G 1. Allegro Moderato’ composed specially for this series by Kevin Canavan. ©2022 Kevin Canavan. All Rights Reserved. Soundcloud.com/kevycanavan Copyright information Cathedral Chronicles is produced by a team of volunteers with the cooperation of Newry Cathedral Parish and the Diocese of Dromore. Neither Newry Cathedral Parish nor the Diocese of Dromore claims ownership of, or responsibility for, the content of this podcast. ©2022 Mark G. Byrne. All Rights Reserved.
21:11
May 03, 2022
#3: Emancipation, Dedication, Consternation
In this episode we will learn about the building of the cathedral, what it looked like when it was dedicated, compared how it looks today, and we will hear about a controversy that arose in the House of Commons as a result of that dedication service. Thank you for listening to Cathedral Chronicles.  Help us to grow our audience by rating our show wherever you listen to podcasts, and by leaving a review on Podchaser at https://www.podchaser.com/cathedralchronicles Please follow or subscribe to get notified about future episodes. Support our work by donating an item of equipment from the Amazon wish list at the link below https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/3STTP01SZO48S?ref_=wl_share Support our work by advertising your business on this show To enquire about advertising your business on this show, please email mark@chapterhouse.ie Additional content on Facebook and Youtube Like us on Facebook for additional content or to get in touch: https://www.fb.com/cathedralcast Subscribe on YouTube for video shorts: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyaa2yIIrzI-FudBhMyB9Fw References ‘Cathedral of SS. Patrick and Colman Newry – Brief historical and descriptive survey’, Rev. Edward Campbell. P. Bennett, Hill Street, Newry, 1948. Various newspaper sources as detailed in the podcast. Newspaper articles: Notice: ‘Consecration of the new Roman catholic chapel of Newry.’ The Newry Commercial Telegraph, 5thMay 1829. ‘Consecration of the new Roman catholic chapel of Newry.’ The Newry Telegraph, Friday 8th May, 1829 ‘A model of the cathedral’ The Newry Reporter, Thursday, January 29, 1959. Other online sources: https://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1820-1832/member/waldo-sibthorp-charles-1783-1855 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Sibthorp https://www.architecture.com/knowledge-and-resources/knowledge-landing-page/gothic https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpendicular_Gothic Credits This episode was written and produced by Mark G. Byrne with additional material adapted from the works of the Rev. Edward Campbell. Our guest contributors were Anthony Russell and Desmond McMahon. The voice of Charles Dickens was provided by Philip Byrne. Music Original music ‘Piano Trio in G 1. Allegro Moderato’ composed specially for this series by Kevin Canavan. ©2022 Kevin Canavan. All Rights Reserved. Soundcloud.com/kevycanavan Copyright information Cathedral Chronicles is produced by a team of volunteers with the cooperation of Newry Cathedral Parish and the Diocese of Dromore. Neither Newry Cathedral Parish nor the Diocese of Dromore claims ownership of, or responsibility for, the content of this podcast. ©2022 Mark G. Byrne. All Rights Reserved.
20:36
April 13, 2022
#2: The Architect: Thomas J. Duff
In episode one we heard how the foundation stone had been laid and building work on the cathedral was finally underway. In this episode we pause to tell the story of the cathedral architect, Thomas J. Duff. It is a story of great triumph and terrible tragedy. Please subscribe to get notified about future episodes. Help us grow our audience If you're enjoying the show, please take a moment to leave us a review on Podchaser. https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/cathedral-chronicles-4283304 Support our work by donating an item of equipment from the Amazon wish list at the link below https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/3STTP01SZO48S?ref_=wl_share Support our work by advertising your business on this show To enquire about advertising your business on this show, please email mark@cathedralchronicles.com Additional content on Facebook and Youtube Like us on Facebook for additional content or to get in touch: https://www.facebook.com/cathedralchronicles Subscribe on YouTube for video shorts: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyaa2yIIrzI-FudBhMyB9Fw Credits This episode was written and produced by Mark G. Byrne with additional material adapted from the works of Dr Paul Larmour and Dr. Christine Casey and others. You can find references listed in the description. Our guest narrator was Fr Callum Young. Music Original music ‘Piano Trio in G 1. Allegro Moderato’ composed specially for this series by Kevin Canavan. ©2022 Kevin Canavan. All Rights Reserved. Soundcloud.com/kevycanavan References Paul Larmour, 'That eminent and tasteful architect', Perspectives, No. 1 (Sep/Oct 1998), 58-63. Christine Casey, ‘Unfinished Business: Thomas Duff of Newry’ Journal of the County Louth Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. XXIX, No. 3, 2019 Tomás Ó Fiaich and Liam Ó Caithnia (ed.), Art Mac Bionaid: dánta (1979); Caesar Otway, Tour in Connaught (1839), 184. Freeman’s Journal, February 22, 1822 Copyright information Cathedral Chronicles is produced by a team of volunteers with the cooperation of Newry Cathedral Parish and the Diocese of Dromore. Neither Newry Cathedral Parish nor the Diocese of Dromore claims ownership of, or responsibility for, the content of this podcast. ©2022 Mark G. Byrne. All Rights Reserved.
19:34
March 29, 2022
#1: Forbidden Faith
In this episode we will learn about a time when catholic worship in Ireland was restricted and at times even forbidden. We’ll hear how the faithful gathered in the secrecy of the countryside, at the risk of severe punishment, even death, to celebrate Mass together. We’ll discover how, as the repression waned, a period of church-building began that would lead to the construction of a cathedral. Please subscribe to get notified about future episodes.  Help us grow our audience If you're enjoying the show, please take a moment to leave us a review on Podchaser. https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/cathedral-chronicles Support our work by donating an item of equipment from the Amazon wish list at the link below https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/3STTP01SZO48S?ref_=wl_share Support our work by advertising your business on this show To enquire about advertising your business on this show, please email mark@cathedralchronicles.com Additional content on Facebook and Youtube Like us on Facebook for additional content or to get in touch: https://www.facebook.com/cathedralchronicles Subscribe on YouTube for video shorts: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyaa2yIIrzI-FudBhMyB9Fw Guest contributor profile Anthony Russell is an historian, playwright and retired academic who has worked on higher education projects from Denmark to Burma. Anthony was the creator and director of the exhibition ‘Thomas D’Arcy McGee: Irish Rebel – Canadian Patriot’ in Ottawa, Canada, and Carlingford, Ireland. Anthony is the author of Merrion Press’s Between Two Flags: John Mitchel and Jenny Verner. He is a co-editor of and contributor to Irish Academic Press’s new book John Mitchel, Ulster and aspects of the Great Irish Famine. His play 'The Trial of P. H. Pearse in the Court of History' has been performed in Canada and at 'Féile an Phobail 2017'. Credits This episode was produced and presented by Mark G. Byrne. It was written by Anthony Russell, with additional content adapted from the works of the Reverend Edward Campbell by Mark G. Byrne.  Music Original music ‘Piano Trio in G 1. Allegro Moderato’ composed specially for this series by Kevin Canavan. ©2022 Kevin Canavan. All Rights Reserved. Soundcloud.com/kevycanavan  Copyright information Cathedral Chronicles is produced by a team of volunteers with the cooperation of Newry Cathedral Parish and the Diocese of Dromore. Neither Newry Cathedral Parish nor the Diocese of Dromore claims ownership of, or responsibility for, the content of this podcast. ©2022 Mark G. Byrne. All Rights Reserved.
21:08
March 16, 2022