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Thursday 18 September 2014

New-look 'Saint Iberius' unveiled

Padraig Byrne

Published 10/12/2013 | 05:42

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Having run over time, over budget and hit considerable snags along the way, the scaffolding finally came down from the front of St Iberius Church on Wexford's Main Street this week.

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Having run over time, over budget and hit considerable snags along the way, the scaffolding finally came down from the front of St Iberius Church on Wexford's Main Street this week.

Emergency work began on the church early in September when it was discovered that the tower had begun to lean into the street and was in danger of collapsing.

It was hoped that the work on the Church would be finished by the time Wexford Festival Opera took place, however, according to Rev Arthur Minion, the project hit some major snags along the way.

'As it turned out the job was a lot bigger than originally anticipated,' he said. 'A lot more work was required on the tower and the turret than we had originally thought. Basically metal had been inserted in the late 80s to stop it leaning, and it had rusted in the wall and needed to be replaced with steel. In the process we discovered that a substantial oak support beam which had been installed in the early 1850s had all but rotted through as a result of water getting in.'

'The tower should have originally been restored in lime plaster rather than concrete plaster,' continued Rev Minion. 'Now the colour on the tower is a good deal different than the concrete plaster on the rest of the church. It now looks more in the original Venetian style as it was meant to look in 1850.'

In total the work has cost upwards of €75,000 but Rev Minion is delighted that all of the structural work is now complete. 'I'd like to thank those involved for all their hard work on the project,' he said. 'In particular the engineer Dermot Nolan, contractor Ciaran Kelly, Borough Engineer Sinead Casey and everyone at Wexford County Council.'

The original church bell, which dates from pre 1850 will now also be on permanent display in the church, along with the workings of the original church clock, which Rev Minion hopes to be able to restore one day.

A Christmas Craft Fair will be held in the walled gardens at St Iberius on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in order to raise funds for the tower repair fund.

Wexford People

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