INSIDE GALWAY CATHEDRAL – SEPTEMBER 2017
The Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas, commonly known as Galway Cathedral, is a Catholic cathedral in Galway, and one of the largest and most impressive buildings in the city.
Construction began in 1958 on the site of the old city prison. It was completed in 1965, making it the last great stone cathedral to be built in Europe. It was dedicated, jointly, to Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and to St. Nicholas.
The architect of the cathedral was John J. Robinson who had previously designed many churches in Dublin and around the country. The architecture of the cathedral draws on many influences. The dome and pillars reflect a Renaissance style. Other features, including the rose windows and mosaics, echo the broad tradition of Christian art. The cathedral dome, at a height of 44.2 metres (145 ft), is a prominent landmark on the city skyline.
During a controversial interview on Telefís Éireann’s The Late Late Show in 1966, Trinity College Dublin student Brian Trevaskis referred to the building as a “ghastly monstrosity”. He also accused the then Bishop of Galway Michael Browne of “extortion” over the manner in which funds for the new cathedral were raised and implied that the Bishop was a “moron”. More recently, it was described in an Irish Times article concerning “ugly” Irish buildings as a “squatting Frankenstein’s monster” and “a monument to the hubris of its soft-handed sponsors”.