Professor T. J. O’Sullivan, the pipe organ’s designer

The 1878 Pipe Organ installed in Clonakilty Convent – and now installed in Enniskeane Church – was built in London but it was designed by a Cork music teacher and organist.
Professor T. J. O’Sullivan, taught music in the city and was the organist at St. Mary’s Dominican Church, Pope’s Quay, Cork.

  • 1856: The Trade and Professional section of Slater’s Cork City Directory lists T. J. Sullivan as a Professor of Music at 14, Bridge St., Cork (the short street between Patrick’s Bridge and McCurtain St.)
  • 1863: In the CORK (CITY) MERCANTILE DIRECTORY FOR 1863, he is listed at 68, South Mall as “Sullivan, T. J., prof. of music”.
  • 1870: The Slater’s Directory list his address as 74, Lower Glanmire Road (near the Railway Station).
  • 1871: He is listed as living at 6, Adelaide Terrace, Summerhill, Cork, and again listed there in 1875.
  • 1880, July 25th: The Freeman’s Journal notes that at the dedication of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Clonakilty, “The music was supplied from the new organ gallery by the Choir of St. Mary’s, Cork, under leadership of Mr. T. J. O’Sullivan.”
  • 1884: Francis Guy’s Almanac lists the staff of the Cork School of Music, 51 Grand Parade, naming T. J. Sullivan as Professor of “Solfeggio and Sight Seeing”, and of “Voice Cultivation”
  • 1887: The ‘Irish American’ announces that the successor of “the late Mr. T. J. Sullivan, as organist and choirmaster of St. Mary’s” is about to arrive from Carlow — implying that Mr Sullivan must have died by then.

Note from an 1865 sermon

Fr. Michael Bernard Buckley, who was a native of the South Parish, Cork, was curate in Enniskeane from 1859 to 1863. In November, 1865, he preached the sermon in Skibbereen Cathedral to mark the dedication of its new pipe organ.
This is an extract from his sermon:-

“Hence the holy Church, the administratrix of the rites of worship on earth, has ever called music to her aid in proclaiming the glories of God. Through every age the voices of her children have resounded in her temples, uttering hymns and canticles of praise to Him : and where wealth has enabled men to add pomp and splendour to the simplicity of worship, they have introduced into the temple instruments made to imitate the human voice, with which the voice may beautifully blend, and an additional charm be given to the efficacy of sacred song.”

Spread the word with a positive note!

Enniskeane parish has special connections with people in all counties and in many parts of the world. Many of them will want to be associated with the installation of the pipe organ in our parish church by sponsoring a pipe and dedicating it to family members – past or present.

But – as St. Paul said – they will not know if they are not told. So please spread the word. Simply let them know about this website. They can take it from there.

The principal section of the 1878 Pipe Organ in place on the gallery of Enniskeane Church.

Organ Sponsorship update (July 5)

Each pipe in the organ plays a unique note. Some are made from wood, most are metal.

  • July 5, 2012, The number of pipes sponsored in the Enniskeane Church Pipe Organ is now at 140. (Includes all those that arrived after the weekend at Mass, by post, and online). Many thanks.
  • As of July 3, 2012, the number of pipes dedicated and sponsored in the Pipe Organ for Enniskeane Church is 87.
  • As of June 29th, 2012, the number of pipes dedicated and sponsored in the Pipe Organ for Enniskeane Church is 74.

Many thanks to all who have sponsored the pipes.

from The Cork Examiner, 22 August 1878

NEW ORGAN IN CLONAKILTY CONVENT.
— An organ, erected by Bryceson Brothers and Ellis, of London, builders of the organ in SS. Peter and Paul’s, was formally opened on Tuesday, 20th inst., by Mr. T. J. Sullivan, St. Mary’s, Cork, who designed it. There was a profession of three nuns on the same day. His lordship the Right Rev. Dr. Fitzgerald, of Ross, officiating. The organ consists of 2 rows of keys, 14 stops, 2½ octaves of pedals (Bourdon through), and 4 composition pedals. The action is reversed, the player facing the altar.