St Tighernach's Church, Clones in Bloom


The parishioners of St Tighernach's Church of Ireland, the Diamond, Clones, are busy preparing for a Flower Festival with a difference this coming weekend, 28th to 30th June. They have chosen the theme, 'From Adam and Eve to Thomas and Cassandra Hand - A floral celebration of Love'. Mr Timothy Elliott has been invited to portray love in all its many facets as told in the Bible stories and also in the life of the Church. The journey begins with Adam and Eve, depict couples such as Abraham and Sarah, and King Xerxes and Queen Esther. We also meet individuals like King David; Samson; Miriam and Moses; Jesus and Mary and concludes with Revd Thomas and Cassandra Hand.

This famous English lady, Cassandra More-Molyneux married Revd Thomas Hand. The couple arrived in Clones during the years of the famine. In the 1850s, Cassandra introduced the making of crochet lace to the area to help support the starving families and encourage them to become independent, thus enabling some of them to survive and stay in the Clones area. Within a few short years, there were 1,500 local people involved in this cottage industry. Interestingly, this lacemaking art continued to flourish in Clones. The coronation dress worn by Queen Mary in 1911 was made by the local women of Clones.

Those coming to Clones also have the opportunity to see an exhibition of striking bridal dresses in the Protestant Hall. These evocative dresses illustrate the changes in bridal fashion during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This light and airy hall, which can be accessed without using the steps, is the venue for refreshments. Mrs Miriam Moore of Bishopscourt, the former home of the Hands, has kindly undertaken to supervise the catering for the floral weekend. Mrs Moore is busy preparing the menu of refreshments ranging from cream teas, soup meals and salads, everything freshly home-made by our catering team.

Mr Roy Crowe Mr Ray Stronge and Mrs Miriam Moore making plans

The History of Clones is amazing. John Wesley came to the town in 1775 and visited five times. He kept a detailed diary and one of his comments was quite amusing. He described the natives of Clones as having 'sleeked back hair and speaking with affected English accents' and that was only the men! Interestingly, an ancestor of our local historian George Knight, the Revd James Knight, Fellow of Trinity College Dublin, we are told in the diary preaches a 'mediocre' service to John Wesley! The links continue from the past to the present and George Knight will be delivering a series of talks and historical walks throughout the town. These tours take place on Friday (at 3.30 pm), Saturday (at 11.00 am; 2.00 pm and 5.00 pm), and Sunday (at 12.30 pm and 5.00 pm).

Mrs Sandra Irwin working on some floral displays

The Flower Festival offers several opportunities to worship in St Tighernach's Church, dated from 1822. The Bishop of Clogher will preach at the opening service on Friday at 7.00 pm. At this service Mrs Cassandra Hand' will also appear! The closing service on Sunday evening at 7.00 pm offers a wide musical programme with Mr Glenn Moore, Organist in Enniskillen Cathedral together with soloist Mr Roy Crowe and the Sacred Heart Choir.

Further details of this event can be obtained from Canon Helene T-Steed, Tel: 00353 47 56962 or 00353 86 8603112.