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Fashion show fundraiser for historic Lorrha church

Friday, 13th October, 2017 9:26am
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Fashion show fundraiser for historic Lorrha church

Some of the parishioners and fashion show participants involved in the campaign to restore the windows of St Ruadhán's Church of Ireland, Lorrha. From left: Jane Coburn and her 2-year old daughter Jasmine, Billy Dagg, Antoinette Hough, Anna Young and Andrew Dagg. Photograph: Rose Mannion

Fashion show fundraiser for historic Lorrha church

Some of the parishioners and fashion show participants involved in the campaign to restore the windows of St Ruadhán's Church of Ireland, Lorrha. From left: Jane Coburn and her 2-year old daughter Jasmine, Billy Dagg, Antoinette Hough, Anna Young and Andrew Dagg. Photograph: Rose Mannion

A fashion show will take place in Lorrha this Saturday night as part of a local committee's efforts to the restore history-steeped St Ruadhán's Church of Ireland.


Celebrating its bicentenary in 2015, St Rudhán's Church of Ireland remains comprised of many of the features it had 200 years ago. Many of these are in need of repair or replacement, most pressingly the building's magnificent cast iron windows.


The windows will have to be removed, sandblasted and re-puttied in a painstaking project that must be undertaken in accordance with Dept of Heritage regulations. The estimated cost of the project is €10,000, and the local committee is appealing for support in their endeavour to preserve this enduring symbol of community life.


One of many churches of its kind built in rural Ireland during the early 1800s, St Rudhán's is unique in that the belfry is part of an older church dating back to the seventeenth century. But of greater significance, it stands on the site of St Ruadhán's monastery, established by Columban monks around the year 550 and used as a monastery for the next 550 years. Rudhán himself is rumoured to have been buried at this site. The site has continuously been used as a place of worship ever since St Ruadhán's time.


Visitors to Lorrha come to marvel at the intricacies of the ruined church, among them a head carved into the stone over the main entrance, thought to be that of Walter de Burgo, Earl of Ulster, who modified the building in the late 12th or early 13th century.


The 'new' church also boasts plenty of intrigue, including the windows. They now need to be replaced in order to safeguard the future of the historic building.


Sunday service attendances at St Ruadhán's tend to be in the region of 15 people. But there are plenty of special occasions that attract greater numbers from the local community and beyond, including the Harvest Thanksgiving service, Christmas carol service, and the Easter Vigil, when a fire is lit outside the church. The church is also used as a lecture venue by visitors from Mount St Joseph Abbey in Roscrea.


What's more, the church is home to local records going back some 300 years and is an essential port of call for overseas visitors tracing their ancestry.


Church warden Leslie Harding says there is a need to maintain the church so that it can be used by everyone in the local community for events such as concerts and lectures. Always grateful of community support, there is a committee in place to look after maintenance of the graveyard. Its members receive funding from Tipperary Co Council, but alternative resources must be found to restore the church itself.


It is with this in mind that the fashion show has been organised at Motefield (the local GAA grounds), this Saturday night. Promising to be an entertaining night out for all in the community, 22 local men and women will model wears contributed by 10 fashion shops. There will also be a jewellery and shoe section, as well as several stands to peruse.
Commencing with a cheese & wine reception at 7.30pm, the main event gets underway at 8pm and will feature a catwalk complete with sound and lighting by Spain AV. There will also be music and spot prizes.


Tickets for the fashion show cost €15 and can either be purchased in advance at the Scéal shop, or at the door on the night, or by contacting Leslie Harding at 087-6375554.  

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