A valuable stained-glass panel which adorned the local parish church in Kildimo for decades has in the last week been returned to the parish.

A Harry Clarke stained glass panel, ‘Jesus and Mary and St. Anne’, measuring approximately 102cms x 5cms, signed Clarke Dublin with original bronze casing frame, in a swivel oak stand, went under the hammer last week at Mealy’s Auction Rooms in Castlecomer and was purchased by Fr. John Dunworth, P.P. Kildimo.

The Clarke piece was originally commissioned for the church in 1926 and cost £20. It adorned the old church at Old Kildimo up to the 1970s when a new church was dedicated in Kildimo. It was never part of the new church build-ing.

Fr. Dunworth attended the auction accompanied by local auctioneer Patrick C Fitzgerald. There was a large attendance showing a curious interest in lot 509 which was the Kildimo piece. The auction room provided telephones for bidders to relay their bids from outside the country. The internet screens were active and keenly viewed by the auctioneer. The bidding commenced with seven or eight bids vying for ownership of the Kildimo lot before the hammer finally fell to the highest bidder which was Fr. Dunworth for the amount of €12,500. When fees and commission are taken into account, the total cost will be close to €15,000.

It is now hoped that the beautiful panel will be placed in the altar window of Kildimo Parish Church.

Harry Clarke window des-igns are part of many church windows through-out Ireland and found in many other countries. One of the most famous windows with Harry Clarke’s initial is the Geneva Window in the Wolfsonian Museum, Miami, Florida.

Harry Clarke died in 1931 at the early age of 41, but despite suffering from ill-health for much of his working life he was remarkably industrious and productive and had commissioned hundreds of designs.