Stained Glass Windows of Swinford Church
Stained Glass Windows in Swinford Church- An Overview by Anne Murtagh BA in Art & Design
Swinford Church was designed by W P Byrne, Suffolk St., Dublin and built by local builder John Mulligan. It was dedicated in March 1891.
This impressive Church is built in simple Gothic style. It is fitting that the interior of the building is equally impressive in the wealth of Church Art contained within which is unique in that it comprises the work of the artist Richard King (1907-1974) in two media – namely the wonderful Stations of the Cross, painted in oils on Masonite, and also his impressive stained glass windows.
Over the Sanctuary is the resplendent stained glass window of the Assumption, on either side of which are the figures of St. John the Evangelist and St. Patrick, while the top rose window portrays the Holy Trinity with God the Father holding a crown in preparation for the Coronation of our blessed Lady.
According to Swinford Parish Church Centenary Magazine 1891-1991, this window was erected in 1952 at the request of the donors, Miss Kathleen O’Connor and her sister Mrs Margaret Mulligan. It is a marvellous example of artistic endeavour. Richard King also carried out further work for the church. In the bottom right corner in front of the present Sacristy are the two windows portraying the Old and New testaments which he completed in 1964.
Facing the altar on the left hand side the last two windows are the work of Hubert Mc Goldrick (1897-1967). These depict the figures of Christ the King and Our Lady of Lourdes.
They date back to 1940. These too are excellent examples of stained glass by one of the artists who was a member of the famed Túr Gloine (Tower of Glass), which included as members Sarah Purser and Evie Hone.
The Upper Clerestory windows are the work of John Hogan Studios, Dublin and were erected in 1956. These are a blend of liturgical symbols surrounded by abstract patterns and are exceptional in the use of colour and design.
As in many Irish Churches Swinford Church has an abundance of the so called ‘Munich Windows’, the work of Franz Meyer Studios of Munich.
Facing the main altar on the left hand side is a large window portraying the Annunciation while on the right hand side is the figure of the Sacred Heart appearing to St Margaret Mary. Throughout the Church biblical scenes featuring Jesus are depicted as well as the blessed Virgin, the saints, and St Michael the Archangel.
Swinford Church is rich in visual art and a joy to behold. It is well worth paying a visit to see these stunning Stained Glass windows in all their glory!