Book on history of St Macartin's Cathedral launched at special event


Attending the launch of the book on the history of St. Macartin's Cathedral.

A major publication, 'St. Macartin's Cathedral - at the Heart of the Community' detailing 400 years of history of the parish of Enniskillen and its iconic building, was launched at a special event in the Cathedral Hall, Enniskillen on Wednesday, 13th November.

The book was written by Mr Sam B. Morrow, Secretary of the Vestry of the Cathedral Parish, and was launched by the Bishop of Clogher, Right Revd John McDowell.

Several hundred people, who gathered in the Cathedral Hall for the launch, some of them travelling from various parts of Ireland, were welcomed by Dean Kenneth Hall who introduced proceedings.
Mr Sam Morrow presented a Power-point presentation of some of the historical aspects contained in the book.

This included the earliest mention of a church on the site. St. Macartin’s Cathedral will mark 400 years of worship on this prominent site in 2022.

He referred to some of the oldest silverware still in use today including the 1638 Davis Chalice and the Baptismal bowl dating from 1666.

Explaining the significance of the 10 bells in the tower of St. Macartin’s Cathedral, Mr. Morrow explained how there had been a bell in the church tower since the church was built. In 1716, two bells were cast from cannons taken at the Battle of the Boyne and given to Enniskilleners by King William for their service to the King. The bells were given the names, “William” and “Mary.”

These bells were later recasted into one large bell in 1828. The bells rang out to mark the signing of the Armistice in 1918 as Enniskillen was the first town in the United Kingdom to announce it.

He explained there have been 28 Rectors of St. Macartin’s Cathedral with the current Dean, Very Revd Kenneth Hall.

The Cathedral has been at the forefront of historic events such as the visit by Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher in 1987 following the Enniskillen Remembrance Day bomb and the visit of Queen Elizabeth in 2012.

Bishop McDowell officially launched the publication, saying that the large turnout was not only due to interest in the Cathedral but of respect for the author, Sam Morrow. He said the book successfully set in context what Ireland was like in the 17th Century and was also reflective of the history of the Church of Ireland.

Bishop McDowell said it was a privilege to be asked to officially launch this book, describing it as a genuine parish history and an “outstanding achievement”.

Other contributors on the evening were Mr. Jack Johnston, local historian and a member of Clogher Cathedral Parish who described the book as a 'most handsome volume' and well laid out with a valuable index.

Monsignor Peter O'Reilly from St. Michael's Church also praised the publication of the book saying it reflected the importance of buildings to many people.

Copies of the book are available from the Cathedral Parish Office and church officials.

Helping to sell the book on St. Macartin's Cathedral.