independent

Friday 20 July 2018

Community gets behind church organ fund

Pictured at the presentation of €6,500 by Enniscorthy Lions Club to the St Mary’s Church Organ Fund were, from left, Eric Barron (President), Jimmy Gahan (PRO), Reverend Nicola Halford, Doreen Moran and Colm McGibney
Pictured at the presentation of €6,500 by Enniscorthy Lions Club to the St Mary’s Church Organ Fund were, from left, Eric Barron (President), Jimmy Gahan (PRO), Reverend Nicola Halford, Doreen Moran and Colm McGibney

Brendan Keane

The people of Enniscorthy have highlighted their generosity, goodwill and sense of heritage by getting fully behind plans to restore the organ in St Mary's Church.

The Lions Club organised a sell-out concert in the church in April and speaking to this newspaper about the fundraising drive Reverend Nicola Halford said the entire parish was delighted with the level of support it has received from people throughout Enniscorthy and beyond.

'The show of support for the concert was absolutely fantastic,' she said.

'We're also so grateful to the Lions Club and to the local people,' she added.

Such was the success of the concert that it raised €6,500 for the organ fund. The event featured some of the most formidable performers in Wexford.

'We had some wonderfully talented performers who all gave their time for free and we are truly thankful to them all,' said Reverend Halford.

'We are also very grateful to the Lions Club for the work they did,' she added.

The organ is a William Gray model that was originally built specifically for Dublin Castle in 1815 where it remained until being moved to Enniscorthy in 1864.

It's one of the few remaining William Gray organs left in the world and is a beautiful instrument. However, age and storm damage has resulted in it not sounding as sweet as it should in recent years and the decision was made to restore it to its former glory so that future generations will get to enjoy it as well.

It's estimated that the overall cost of repairing the organ will be in the region of €100,000 but Reverend Halford said that figure has almost been achieved at this stage.

'We're just about there and we are very grateful to everyone who has helped and supported the fund along the way,' she said.

'We did received some insurance money as a result of the storm damage but it didn't come anywhere near what was needed.'

A complex instruments which contains around 1,000 pipes it will take around a year for the organ to be repaired.

Enniscorthy Guardian

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