Donaghmore church historic renovations shortlisted for major building award

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Renovations carried out on one of the most historic places of worship in County Tyrone have been shortlisted for a major architectural award.

The eighteen month-long facelift and extensive refurbishment of St Patrick’ Church, Donaghmore, which was completed in September, is now a contender for the prestigious Royal British Institute of Surveyors’ Building Conservation Award.

Pomeroy-based QMAC construction carried out the work on the 170 year-old church. During the upheaval, the church was completely stripped out, the existing floors removed and the walls replastered with traditional lime mortar. Iron pipe-work was installed along with cast iron radiators in keeping with the character of the original church and a new and up to date heating system was installed.

Other highlights of the work, which are the fourth major renovations in the church’s history, included a facelift of the stone exterior, the demolition and rebuilding of the sacristy, committee room, boiler house and toilets, stained glass restoration, new plaster moulding and lowering the floors.

The stained glass windows in the sanctuary, which date from the 1890s, were beautifully restored by Portadown Stained Glass Studio and given new window frames.

The RICS awards ceremony takes place on Friday 6 May at the La Mon Hotel & Country Club.

A spokesperson for the parish said: “The interior of the new church is really beautiful, the sanctuary floor with its creama marble tiles, the nave and aisles with their Victorian tiles and liturgical rugs.

“The window frames and doors have been made to a very high standard and in best quality timber. The door panels are engraved with attractive Celtic and Gothic designs.

“Four panels of the main ceiling have striking blue and gold decoration and lettering. The columns in the church and the panels behind the altar have been beautifully marbled and there is striking artwork at the side altars. There is elegantly executed stencil work on the upper and lower gallery ceilings and on the ceiling of the porch.

“The sanctuary has a superbly sculpted marble High Altar, baldacchino, reredos, pulpit, ambo and a beautiful marble Main Altar with a finely sculpted “Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci, precious items dating from the late 19th Century, that add beauty to the church and all of which were most generously donated to St. Patrick’s Church, Donaghmore, by a Dungannon family, in memory of their father. They also donated the lovely marble baptismal font at the front of the church and two beautiful marble statues.”