Harry Clarke is commonly regarded as one of Ireland’s greatest stained glass artist. His name is synonymous with quality craftsmanship, imagination and a genius for selecting and using deep rich colours.
It may come a as a surprise to many that a window in Saint Patrick’s church of Lahardane has a very strong link to the genius of Harry Clarke. The depiction of beautiful elongated figures with their carved features and expressive eyes is magical to behold.
Though he died in 1931 his legacy lived on in through the ongoing work of the Harry Clarke Studios which continued to produce beautiful examples of stained glass art, though not as high of artistic beauty as Harry Clarke had produced. They are a living testimony of the genius of Harry Clarke, a man way ahead of his time.
The window found on the western nave of Saint Patrick’s church in Lahardane contains one such example of a Harry Clarke Studio’s stained glass window. The window was taken from the church Castle Lackan, otherwise known as Lackan, north west of the town of Killala, on the west coast of Co.Mayo, and placed in storage along with another which was unfortunately destroyed by livestock.
When the present church in Lackan was completed the Harry Clarke window was not installed. Upon hearing of this the former parish priest, the late Father McGuinness a native of Enniscrone, had the remaining Harry Clarke window recovered, restored and installed in Saint Patrick’s church Lahardane, Co.Mayo. Unfortunately the Sligo native passed away in 1984, having been parish priest of the village of Lahardane for only three months.
The following is the details of the order for Castlelacken Church, Ballina, Co.Mayo. The Harry Clarke Studio window featuring Madonna and child now installed in Saint Patrick’s church, Lahardane, Co.Mayo was ordered on 26 November 1938 by the Very Rev J. Murphy parish priest. The order stated:
“to make, supply a single stained glass window to design and estimate including wire guard. Revised price £65”
The Harry Clarke studio window now sits proudly in Saint Patrick’s Church along with the Emigration Window and the Titanic Rescue Window organized by the Addergoole Titanic Society, designed by Michael Coleman of Whitethorn Studios, and fitted and constructed by Art Glass Derry. The windows were commissioned from contributions made by relatives of the Addergoole Fourteen.