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William Murphy
Double Take

Double Take: The golden angel in Cork whose trumpets were stolen

She’s known as the ‘goldie angel’, if you’re a local.

STANDING PROUD ATOP a dome at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork, is a golden gilded angel. 

Her vibrant hue contrasts greatly against the limestone place of worship, making her a striking part of the Cork skyline.

Following the completion of the cathedral in 1870 by famed architect William Burges, he gifted the six-foot-tall statue to the city. 

She remained untouched among the Gothic spires for 128 years… until the two trumpets in her hands were removed and stolen in 1998.

As reported by the Irish Times at the time, an unknown person scaled the building, climbed 160ft to reach the angel and unpegged the four-inch nails which held the trumpets in place. 

Following the event, a spokesman for The Church of Ireland told the publication: “It is something we just do not understand. Why would anyone do such a thing?”

Within 48 hours of being stolen, the trumpets belonging to the ‘goldie angel’, as it became known in Cork, were recovered from waste ground close to St Patrick’s Catholic Church on the other side of the city. 

Two months following their disappearance, the trumpets were replaced in their original position by none other than the Dean of Cork and the Catholic Bishop of Cork and Ross.

Much to the amusement of onlookers, the two men scaled the building and returned the trumpets to their rightful owner.

Thirty years later, the trumpets remain in the hands of the goldie angel. According to legend, the ringing of the trumpets will sound to alert the people of Cork of the imminent end of the world and allow the citizens to be among the first to enter the golden gates of heaven. 

In that case, let’s hope they stay put…

More Double Take: The 141-year-old Dublin bridge that played a part in the 1916 Rising>

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