FATHER MATHEW QUAY – CORK CITY
Holy Trinity Church, also known as Father Mathew Memorial Church, is a Roman Catholic Gothic Revival church and friary on Fr. Mathew Quay, on the bank of the River Lee in Cork. It belongs to the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin and is the only church dedicated to Father Theobald Mathew.
The building’s listing in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage describes it as a “Regency Gothic-style church with Gothic-Revival portico”, and it is “one of the first large churches in the south of Ireland to be built in this style.” Construction of the church began in the early 1830s but stalled shortly before the Great Famine. It would only be completed in 1890, in time for the centenary of the birth of Fr. Mathew. The church features several noteworthy stained glass windows, including three by Harry Clarke’s studio and a large memorial to Daniel O’Connell.
Theobald Mathew (10 October 1790 – 8 December 1856) was an Irish Catholic priest and teetotalist reformer, popularly known as Father Mathew. He was born at Thomastown, near Golden, County Tipperary. He received his schooling in Kilkenny, then moved for a short time to Maynooth. From 1808 to 1814 he studied in Dublin, where in the latter year he was ordained to the priesthood. Having entered the Capuchin order, after a brief period of service at Kilkenny, he joined the mission in Cork.
Statues of Mathew stand on St. Patrick’s Street, Cork, by J. H. Foley (1864), and on O’Connell Street, Dublin, by Mary Redmond (1893). There is a Fr. Mathew Bridge in Limerick City, named after the temperance reformer when it was rebuilt between 1844 and 1846.