The Peter Flannery Chalice (1715)

Irish Chalices

This eighteenth century silver chalice forms part of the collection of Clonfert Museum, attached to Saint Brendan's Cathedral in Loughrea, County Galway, and has been the subject of academic examination (Buckley; Egan). It is interesting to note that the chalice was commissioned shortly after the introduction of the Penal Laws (1691) and the laws restricting Catholic land ownership (1704) following the Jacobite Rebellion (1689 - 1691); and shortly before the Famine of the Great Frost (1740 - 1741).

The benefactor of this silver chalice was Fr. Peter Flannery. He was Parish Priest of Kilconiron in County Galway in 1704 (Jordan) and Parish Priest of Kiltullagh in 1715 (Mulvey). He commissioned a large stone slab in Kiltullagh cemetery in honour of his parents. The Latin inscription reads ...

'Orate Pro Malachia Flanery & Selia Cunie ejusuxore in quorum gratiam hunc lapidem posuit eorum filius rad Petrus Flanery stilcen ciat lassorbonicus Clonfert Ensis Canonicus et Vicarius Gralis huius ecclesiae pius zelosusac eruditus pastor obut xxiii Septemb 1715 Requiescant in Pace'

[Pray for Malachy Flanery and Celia Cunie his wife for the love of whom this stone was erected by their son Peter Flanery Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Sorbonne, Canon and Vicar General of Clonfert pious zealous and erudite Pastor of this church 23rd September 1715. May they rest in peace]

The overall height of the silver chalice is 213 mm, and it weighs 464g. The bowl is parabolic in profile, with an everted lip and gilt internally. The bowl is 71 mm high and 81 mm in diameter. There are four hall marks on the bowl, which indicate that it is a replacement component crafted in Dublin in 1906 by a maker with initials J.S. The hall marks, in sequence, are "J.S" - "Seated Britannia" - "Crowned Harp" - "L"; the latter hall mark is stamped in Gothic style.

The stem is 71 mm long of a hexagonal (not octagonal) section with 8 mm wide facets. The knop is spherical with a diameter of 40 mm, and is engraved with floral patterns. This style of knop is associated with Galway (Egan).

The foot is a concave octagonal pyramidoid 71 mm high and widens to an octafoil base of 126 mm diameter. It is decorated with a crucifixion scene, and fleurs-de-lys at each of the octagonal edges. The Latin inscription reads ...

'Ex Dono R. D. Petri Flanery ad ppetuum usu Ecclesiae de Kiltollagh ob: 23 Sept: 1715'

[Donated by the Reverend Doctor Peter Flannery for the perpetual use of Kiltullagh Church, dated 23rd September 1715]

Peter Flannery Chalice (1715)

[The Peter Flannery Chalice (1715); photo courtesy of Pádraig Ó Flannabhra F.I.P.P.A.]

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