Permission has been granted for renovations to Tuam Cathedral to make it suitable for religious ceremonies.
St. Jarlath’s Diocesan Trust had submitted plans with the county council to for refurbishments to Tuam Cathedral needed for practical reasons.
The Cathedral of the Assumption on Bishop Street in Tuam has been the seat of the Catholic Archdiocese of Tuam since 1837.
The diocese wants to replace the Reredos, a decorative screen behind the alter, as well as removing some more modern fitting and replacing them with fresh ones.
The work that is planned now is necessary because of part work done in the 90s that have made the space unsuitable for religious ceremonies.
According the panning application the existing layout of the sanctuary and reredos has left it too small for ceremonies to be properly held.
The current horizontal, wooden reredos has also been described as out of character with the rest of the Cathedral.
It is “neither gothic nor contemporary in feeling and there is a resulting conflict between the design of the existing reredos and the surrounding gothic verticality of the cathedral.”
It also lacks “ameliorating features such as outstanding carvings or craftsmanship.”
The diocesan trust is going to replace it with a granite reredos with oak panelling that’s more in tune with Tuam Cathedral.
Other parts of the sanctuary will be refurbished to provide more space.
Since Tuam Cathedral is a protected structure, and work that could materially alter it requires planning approval from the council.
As a requirement of the grant of permission, the county council has required that for that an architect with experience in conservation must be employed to over see the work.
Upon completion this architect will certify that the works “have been carried out in accordance with good conservation practice”.
The Trust and council must also been in agreement on the size and design of the new Reredos.
The county council gave planning permission for the Cathedral renovation with a total of three conditions attached.