Fethard’s Parish Priest, Canon Tom Breen, issued an appeal to parishioners on Sunday last for financial help towards the rather extensive repairs to Holy Trinity Church that are currently taking place.
These essential repairs are very specialised work and will cost in the region of €65,000.
There are also some maintenance works needed to be carried out on the Parochial House. The consulting engineer for the project is Mr Richie Butler, originally from Coolanure, Fethard, and the contractor is Joe Costello, Stone Work and Masonry Conservation. Both have been most helpful in providing top class advise and expertise in the architectural restoration of the church that should last for many future generations of Fethard inhabitants.
Canon Breen emphasised that these are difficult times and he was reluctant to ask for money at this time but he must ask for some help and hence is sending out envelopes to every household asking parishioners to contribute as best they can to the project.
The facade of Holy Trinity Church Fethard is of Masonry construction and is southerly facing. Constant penetration of rainwater through this gable has caused damage to many roof timbers in this area, to such an extent that a small section of ceiling has collapsed behind the Organ, and many other localised areas of ceiling are in need of urgent repair.
The first step is to identify the potential source of this water ingress. Following careful examination, potential causes were identified as follows: (a) Deteriorated lead work to the flat surface under the Bellcote causing a major source of water inlet, together with penetrations from the bell striker bolts also providing a path for rainwater. (b) Deteriorated lead work under the parapet capping stones, causing more water passage. (c) Many damaged stone joints, and growth of vegetation, providing inlet of water. (d) Cement based pointing mortar to all stonework, preventing normal drying out of masonry through the joints, therefore exacerbating the problem. (e) Damage to clock face and frame allowing water inlet.