18 March 2021
By Bryan Smyth
The iconic Cork landmark – the tower of Saint Anne’s Church, Shandon – joined Cork City Hall and 690 other buildings in 66 countries around the world in ‘going green’ to mark Saint Patrick’s Day 2021.
‘I had a great view of it on Saint Patrick’s night from the chapel in my home’ said Bishop Paul Colton ‘and then, this morning I spotted that Midleton-based photographer, Cathal Noonan, had taken a photograph of the ‘green Shandon’ and posted it on Instagram. So I emailed him and he kindly gave his consent for the photograph to be used here. You can find more of Cathal’s photographic work on his website at http://www.cathalnoonan.com
On top of this pepper pot church tower is a weather vane in the form of a salmon (known locally as ‘de goldie fish’) which represents the salmon fishing industry on the River Lee; it is 4 metres long and is covered in gold leaf.
From ground level to the very top the tower is 51.5 metres. The church is also noted for its famous bells, for its clock (known locally as ‘the four-faced liar’), and for a baptismal font dating to 1629.
In 2005, when Cork was European Capital of Culture, the House of Bishops met in Cork, and all climbed the tower (using the internal staircase, lest there be any doubt, and ringing the bells on the way up) to take in the view of Cork City.