29 February 2020
By Elaine Murphy
St. Colman’s Church and Schoolhouse in Ballycotton Opens as New Music and Events Venue and Architecturally Designed Restaurant
Sea Church in Ballycotton, East Cork will open this weekend as an intimate music and events venue and architecturally designed restaurant overlooking the rugged coastline.
Following a multi-million euro restoration by local entrepreneur Pearse Flynn, the church will function as a music venue with a capacity of 120. It opens this weekend with The Frank and Walters performing on Friday the 28th of February and Lisa Hannigan performing on Saturday the 29th of February and Sunday the 1st March. Other artists lined up over the coming months include John Spillane, Jack O’Rourke and Mary Counghlan.
Mr. Flynn purchased St Coleman’s Church in 2018 and has worked closely with architects, interior designers, restoration experts and specialist builders to create the unique venue and return the building to its former glory. The project took two years to complete with original features such as oak panels, wrought iron gates and pointed arch stained-glass windows painstakingly preserved, while the bell tower and timber staircase are restored to their original specification.
The restoration plans were drawn up by Paul Haffey Interior Design, and Rose Construction managed the build. The overall project includes the restoration of the old schoolhouse behind the church, which has been developed into Sea Church Restaurant due to open on the 5th of March, and a car park and community playground across the road which is due to be finished later this Spring.
Speaking about the project, Pearse Flynn said “Ballycotton and the surrounding area has enormous potential. It is so beautiful and unspoiled. The trick to the Sea Church development was to get the balance right and to retain its original charm. The design of the restaurant had to come from the surrounding beauty. We wanted to maintain the harmony of life and give a modern maritime feel inside the restaurant while steering away from the traditional. I believe we have achieved a look that is fresh and contemporary while paying homage to the beauty of the surrounding countryside.”
Sea Church is equipped with a high-end audio system and full in-house DJ equipment. The unique venue, which includes a large outdoor terrace with unparalleled views, is available for private events and ceremonies making it perfect for special events, exhibitions and functions. Sea Church is also an approved venue for civil ceremonies and can cater for weddings of between 100 and 150 guests, with a dedicated events team in place who work with the best local suppliers to customise each event.