Freemasons' involvement in Patrick's Bridge construction to be marked

Freemasons' involvement in Patrick's Bridge construction to be marked
The newly lit and revovated St. Patricks Bridge spanning the River Lee in Cork City. The bridge which was orginally opened by the then Mayor of Cork, Sir John Arnott, on December 12, 1861. Tomorrow an opening ceremony will take place at 2pm and a commemorative plaque will be unveiled. Picture Dan Linehan

THE Freemasons in Cork were involved in the construction of the original St Patrick’s Bridge over the River Lee almost 160 years ago and the current Provincial Grand Master of the order told The Echo that it is an honour to be involved yet again.

Tomorrow, Grand Master Leslie Deane will bring the spirit level which was used in the original construction with him for incorporation into the ceremony.

“The masonic order was involved in laying the foundation stone for the original St Patrick’s Bridge,” said Mr Deane. “We still have the original level and it will be great to bring that for the occasion.

“This level was used by the Earl of Carlisle, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in the laying of the foundation stone on November 10, 1859. It was also used by the Lord Bishop of Cork at the laying of the foundation stone at St Finbarr’s Cathedral, January 12, 1865.”

The trowel that was used to lay the bridge’s original foundation stone will also lay the last piece of stonework today. The council has invited those with names similar to Patrick to take part in a St Patrick’s weekend photo to celebrate the €1.2 million repair and rehabilitation of Cork’s St Patrick’s Bridge. City Hall are seeking 158 people named Patrick or Patricia — in any language — join in on the bridge for a once-in-a-lifetime celebratory shot. Bishops John Buckley and Paul Colton will perform a joint blessing of the bridge.

The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Mick Finn, elected members and senior management from Transport Infrastructure Ireland will be in attendance.

As part of the project, Cumnor Construction cleaned, repointed and repaired the stonework on the 19th century heritage bridge. Specialist repair and restoration work was undertaken on the bridge’s lamp columns and additional damaged lamp columns, that were found in storage, were refurbished and put in place. The bridge’s footpaths and carriageway surfacing were also replaced and new road markings put in place.

Existing traffic lights, elevation and architectural lighting and signage were all upgraded.

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