St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland.
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, also known as The National Cathedral and Collegiate Church of Saint Patrick, Dublin, or in the Irish language as Árd Eaglais Naomh Pádraig, founded in 1191, is the larger of Dublin’s two Church of Ireland cathedrals, and the largest church in Ireland, with a 43-metre (140 feet) spire. The other cathedral, Christ Church, is the diocesan cathedral of the diocese of Dublin and Glendalough.
In 1192, John Comyn, first Anglo-Norman Archbishop of Dublin, elevated one of the four Dublin Celtic parish churches, the one dedicated to St. Patrick, beside a holy well of the same name and on an island between two branches of the River Poddle, to the status of a collegiate church, i.e., a church with a body of clergy devoted to both worship and learning. The new collegiate church fell outside the City boundaries, and this move created two new civic territories, one under the Archbishop’s temporal jurisdiction. The church was dedicated to “God, our Blessed Lady Mary and St. Patrick” on 17 March 1191.
After the English Reformation (an uneven process between 1536 and 1564 but at St. Patrick’s, effective from about 1537), St. Patrick’s became an Anglican Church of Ireland Cathedral, although most of the population of the surrounding Pale remained Roman Catholic. During the confiscation process, some images within the cathedral were defaced by soldiers under Thomas Cromwell, and neglect led to collapse of the nave in 1544.
The cathedral is the location for a number of public national ceremonies. Ireland’s Remembrance Day ceremonies, hosted by the Royal British Legion and attended by the President of Ireland, take place there every November. Its carol service (the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols), celebrated twice in December, including every 24 December, is a colourful feature of Dublin life.
The funerals of two Irish presidents, Douglas Hyde and Erskine Hamilton Childers, took place there in 1949 and 1974 respectively.
In 2006, the cathedral’s national prominence was used by a group of 18 Afghan refugees seeking asylum, who occupied it for several days before being persuaded to leave without trouble.