Architect’s Model of Church [Courtesy of the Examiner]
Our church was built as one of a rosary of churches on the edge of the city, as it was at that time. It is dedicated to the Descent of Holy Spirit. The Church was a part of the St. Finbarr’s West Parish for the first ten years. In 1970 the Parish of Ballineaspaig was designated. In 1982 the Parish of Ballineaspiag was further divided with the creation of two additional parishes of Wilton (African Missions) and Curraheen. Built on an old quarry and some adjoining pasture land, the site was blessed by the Bishop of Cork, Dr. Cornelius Lucey in November 1956 and four years later the site had been transformed: a large brick and limestone church with its distinctive dome rising 140 feet [42.67m], designed by J.R.Boyd Barrett and built by Pat Shea and Co., now dominated by the surrounding area.
Cork Examiner 1959 [Courtesy of the Examiner]
The Church of Descent of the Holy Spirit, with a seating capacity for 1,100, was blessed and opened on Sunday, 25th September 1960, the feast of St. Finbarr, patron saint of the diocese, by Dr Lucey. The dedication of the Church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the first to be so dedicated in Ireland, was highlighted by the magnificent Pentecost altar mosaic, which was designed and executed by the Italian artist Romeo Battistella, who was attached to International Mosaics of Roscommon. The church is neo-classical in style with a plan of a Latin cross with nave and transepts, 193 feet [58.83m] long and 98 feet [29.87m] wide. A large bronze lantern stands on top of the copper-sheeted dome, surmounted by a 24-foot [7.32m] high cross. The design is reputed to have been influenced by the churches Dr Lucey had seen during his visit to the Eucharistic Congress in Spain.The sanctuary mosaic depicts the events of Pentecost, Acts.2: 1-4
Bessie Dunne, a niece of Mr Hurley who donated his house (Parochial House) and land for the site of the Church, made a handwritten account of the development of the Church and kept a scrapbook. Her handwritten account is reproduced here along with her scrapbook of memorabilia and newspaper cuttings courtesy of the Examiner.
A more complete history of the parish “The Story from the Beginning“ was written by Dick Cross at the time of the Golden Jubilee in 2010.
All the Bulletins published since 1976 are available on the Bulletin Page.