Renowned stained glass artist launches Paraic’s new book

The Kerryman (Tralee Edition) - - NEWS -

BROSNA na­tive stained-glass mas­ter James Scan­lon was back on home turf on Thurs­day to launch a new book by a fel­low North Kerry man.

Betrothed, writ­ten by Lis­towel na­tive Paraic Maher, ex­am­ines the Bib­li­cal story of Mary and Joseph; how they came to be wed.

It’s an es­pe­cially poignant retelling of the story, as Paraic sets out just how dif­fi­cult the whole ex­pe­ri­ence must have been for the ado­les­cent Mary; taken from her life of de­vo­tion in the Tem­ple to live as man­and-woman with Joseph, in a union ini­tially con­ducted un­der the weight of Ju­daic cus­toms.

Betrothed is as much a work of art his­tory as it is of in­ter­pre­ta­tion, how­ever. For Paraic’s work also en­com­passes the many glo­ri­ous ways stained­glass artists de­picted the mar­riage – in a tour of church win­dows across the is­land.

Paraic was de­lighted to have two cul­tural pow­er­houses from North Kerry launch the work at his alma mater of St Michael’s Col­lege, on Thurs­day: James Scan­lon and Si­amsa Tíre founder Fr Pat Ah­ern.

There are not too many who know the craft of stained glass bet­ter than the Brosna man. He is revered in the field; the cre­ator of the amaz­ing win­dows at Glen­stal Abbey, of the Arts Coun­cil in­stal­la­tion in Sneem, of part of the EU Con­sil­ium build­ing in Brus­sels and much, much more.

Both James and Fr Ah­ern put the stun­ning work in its con­text as a unique ex­plo­ration of a key bib­li­cal event, com­bin­ing its au­thor’s per­sonal take on the tale along­side a vis­ual guide ex­am­in­ing the myr­iad ways in which some of the na­tion’s finest artists in­ter­preted it be­fore him.

The Daniel O’Con­nell Me­mo­rial Church in Ca­her­siveen is, in­ci­den­tally, among the churches which fea­ture in the eye-catch­ing work.

At the launch of Betrothed in St Michael’s Col­lege Lis­towel this week were its au­thor Paraic Maher (sec­ond left) and Brosna-na­tive stained glass artist James Scan­lon (third from right). From left, Fr Pat Ah­ern, Paraic Maher, Mar­garet Maher, James Scan­lon, Fr Dan Ah­ern and Mary Claire Scan­lon.

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