‘Our Parish’ Altar Quilt

‘Our Parish’ Altar Quilt

From Glencorrib Parish Newsletter, Sunday 9th March 2014

The latest creative addition to Glencorrib’s Church of the Immaculate Conception is an Altar Quilt showing the map of Shrule Parish. The altar quilt proudly takes its place alongside other locally created pieces including homemade altar chairs, a pottery cruet set, a pair of stone candle holders & the exquisite Noah’s Ark and Rainbow.

The idea to place cloth maps on both the Shrule and Glencorrib church altars was yet another brainchild of Fr. Michael Crosby, P.P. However, the actual making of the cloths fell to the skilled hands of local women Mary O’Grady, Nuala McHugh and Teresa Fahey (Glencorrib Altar Quilt) and to Monica Murphy (Shrule Altar Cloth) with support and encouragement from other locals and members of the Glencorrib Craft Group. The accuracy and authenticity of the maps and placename spellings on which the quilt was based is thanks to information provided by local people and contained in the shrule.com and logainm.ie websites. As always great credit is due to everyone associated with the upkeep of Glencorrib/Kilroe Community Centre and Glencorrib Church for continuing to provide comfortable environments for craft work and craft appreciation.

Putting a map onto cloth posed many challenges given that the person with the idea didn’t know anything about sewing and the people doing the sewing work had never before worked with such an unusual shape; A parish of 25 irregular townlands, (surrounded by Lough Corrib and other parishes) with 2 townlands trapped in the middle belonging to Kilmainebeg(i.e. Ballisnahyny East & Carrowoughteragh) and the townland of Brackloon floating out into Kilmainemore!

Respecting the unique character of each townland, 25 individual rust/green cotton materials were selected and used in the making of the map at the centre of the quilt. The overall quilt design is intended to fit with the colourscheme of the church and its setting amidst a beautiful landscape of rivers, lakes, fields and farms. Townlands are listed in alphabetical order on the side panels, each townland clearly associated with its unique material and its original Irish placename spelling. (See also the Placenames Poster in the church). Townland placename spellings and meanings were verified with experts from An Brainse Logainmneacha (The Placenames Branch), An Roinn Ealaíon, Oidhreachta, & Gaeltachta and were re-checked thoroughly by Mary McNally before being printed onto cloth.

In his homily last weekend Fr. Crosby posed the question one Irish person will ask another no matter where they meet in the world i.e. “Where are you from?” We proudly claimed Glencorrib as home when our innovative Mayo signs and banners featured on national TV last year. This map is ‘made by local people” and “dedicated to the people of the villages and townlands around Glencorrib”. Take a few minutes to find your home, village or townland.

“To be, we need to be home.
When a place to belong to is assured,
the adventure of growth can begin with great promise.”
(Quote from Benedictus, by John O’Donohue)