Honan Chapel

University College Cork, T12 VH32

The building and decoration of the Honan Chapel in the grounds of UCC would not have been possible without the support and talent of some amazing women. 

 

The chapel is named after Isabella Honan. She came from a family of wealthy Cork butter merchants. When she died in 1913 she left money in her will for a chapel.

 

Look around the Chapel and you will see different types of artwork including metalwork, stained glass and embroidery. It’s all part of the Irish Arts and Crafts Movement (1890s-1920s). The movement aimed to create high quality, usually handmade work which was distinctively Irish and designed and produced here.

 

Many of the artworks here are by women artists. The hangings around the altar, the banners and the cushions were designed by the Dun Emer Guild, associated with Susan and Elizabeth Yeats. They were the sisters of the poet W.B. Yeats. The robes worn by priests and attendants in the Chapel were made by local seamstresses in the Egan workshop.

 

The stained glass was designed by An Túr Gloine (The Glass Tower). Based in Dublin, the group produced beautiful Irish stained glass at a time when it was mostly imported from abroad. Many female artists were members, including Ethel Rhind and Catherine O’Brien whose stained glass you can see here.

 

Local Cork firms who worked on the Chapel included builders John Sisk & Sons and Egan’s of Patrick Street who made the altar plate.

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