The Oratory, Convent Road

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Gulliver
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The Oratory, Convent Road

Post by Gulliver » Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:08 pm

Went to the Oratory on Library Road today 26/08/2012

It's a hidden artistic gem which many people are not aware of.... it is open on Wednesday, Sat and Sun in Summertime at 2.00pm, 3.00pm, and 4.00pm. It closes after next Sunday

It is the last remaining element of the old Dominican Convent, which was demolished to build the Bloomfield centre and cinema etc. The oratory was saved from the bulldozer by local appeals.

It was built in 1919 as a tiny chapel in the end of the garden of the convent, mainly initially as a memorial at the end of the Great War.
It was quite plain, but Harry Clarke provided 7 stained glass windows, which were paid for by individual donors
It is internally 20ft x 8ft ..... about the size of a garage to hold a modest family car, but the Board of Works some years ago built a building around it to preserve it.

Here is the front view

Image

There is a DVD presentation and a guide in the lobby.

It tells how the Rev Mother asked a nun who was the art teacher to do a panel behind the altar.

The Nun, Sister Concepta Lynch, over the subsequent 16 years spent all spare time covering the walls and ceiling with art.

The work is done entirely with common household paint, and what looks like gold leaf is actually a cheap household gold paint called Judsons.

Here is a wide view

Image

The oratory is now owned by DLRCOCO which has installed lighting

This is a detail of the altar panel

Image

The entire artwork is mirrored on both sides of the oratory
This celtic cross is therefore repeated on both sides

Image

The ceiling is believed to be unfinished.... that she intended to illuminate it much more

Image

Some fabulous mythical creatures around the windows and over the door

Image

Spectacular and worth a visit

Gulliver
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Re: The Oratory, Convent Road

Post by Jemser » Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:21 pm

Thanks for the photos Gulliver, I visited the Oratory a couple of years ago. It is spectacularly decorated and everyone should visit this very fine local attraction. Sr. Concepta certainly left a very fine legacy to the Borough and full marks to DLRCOCO for preserving it and opening it up to the community.
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Re: The Oratory, Convent Road

Post by Strum » Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:24 pm

Excellent Gulliver. Incredible work and I always wanted to visit it. Thanks for the info. :D

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Re: The Oratory, Convent Road

Post by Holla » Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:56 pm

What a gifted lady and hidden gem the oratory is, I have never seen it, now on my things to do and see list.

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Re: The Oratory, Convent Road

Post by Micheál » Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Stupid Q but . . .

where is the entrance exactly?

M.

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Re: The Oratory, Convent Road

Post by Gulliver » Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:42 pm

Micheál wrote:Stupid Q but . . .

where is the entrance exactly?

M.
Going up from the library, pass the roundabout at Bloomfields car park, then pass the entrance to Rosary Gardens East on your left, then pass the playground on your left, and you are there... exactly

One of the links below should find it for you

https://maps.google.com/?ll=53.292465,- ... 16,,0,4.07

http://goo.gl/maps/PJgu4
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Re: The Oratory, Convent Road

Post by Micheál » Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:38 pm

Thanks Gulliver

Pass it regularly and it never dawned on me that it was the site of Oratory
I'll drop in next week.

M

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Re: The Oratory, Convent Road

Post by grammer » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:23 pm

Top class photos Gulliver
to my shame I have never been inside either =
sent from my PC and typed on a keyboard (old fashioned black colour) using three fingers

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Re: The Oratory, Convent Road

Post by Navanman » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:47 pm

I also have never been inside there. Did not know it was anything like that inside.

Must be the best kept secret in Dun laoghaire.

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Re: The Oratory, Convent Road

Post by Sinead » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:36 pm

Pupils of the school were allowed visit this Chapel by some of the nuns. It was always a treat to
go into this building which was to the left of the Convent as you went up the right hand drive.
This direction may sound strange but when you went in the main gate of the Convent you could
go up either the right or left hand side of a very large lawn. Sr. Cecilia and Mother Julianne were
great for bringing you to this Chapel and giving you the history of it.
The photos do it justice Gullivar.

Sinéad

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Re: The Oratory, Convent Road

Post by Denis Cromie » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:23 pm

Great stuff Gulliver. I remember being in it many years ago but didn't then really appreciate the brilliant artwork that it is. :D

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Re: The Oratory, Convent Road

Post by Rocker » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:11 pm

Gulliver,

Great photos. Like Sinead I went to school there and those two great nuns mentioned were my favourites. We were allowed inside too. It was a great school and I loved every minute. This oratory is a great gem and should be open more often.
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Re: The Oratory, Convent Road

Post by spudseamus » Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:44 am

The wife took a look at those pics and said OMG! I never thought I would see that again !! she said a few nuns would take the girls down to have a look and most times the gates were shut but you could see in .

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Re: The Oratory, Convent Road

Post by Rocker » Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:44 am

Even though I went to the Dominican Convent I never queried too much about when the nuns first came to Dún Laoghaire. This little potted history on the schools website is good and shows that they have been in the town since 1847,

http://www.dominicandunlaoghaire.ie/our-school/history/
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Re: The Oratory, Convent Road

Post by Rocker » Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:10 pm

Well it is almost 50 years since I left school at the Dominican Convent and I decided today to do the Heritage tour of the Oratory. I had forgotten just how impressive it is. The guide was first class and I never knew until today that the statue of the Sacrd Heart over the little altar was given by the people of France or Belgium (unsure of which) in thanksgiving for the fight fought by the young men of Dún Laoghaire. Some nice shots here as I haven't downloaded my photos yet.

https://arranqhenderson.com/2013/12/24/ ... o-you-all/
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Re: The Oratory, Convent Road

Post by Denis Cromie » Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:46 pm

I remember visiting the Oratory many years ago but did not fully appreciate its beauty, must pay another visit. Thanks for posting Rocker.

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Re: The Oratory, Convent Road

Post by Rocker » Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:57 am

I got an notification on FB from DunLaoghaire Rathdown County Council. They are putting together a project to celebrate the 100 years of the Oratory and are looking for old pictures and good old stories. Have a look at their website for details. Don't forget that this Oratory honours all the local lads who lost their lives in the First World War.
I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.
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