“On 24 June 1935, in the presence of a large and distinguished gathering, Thomas Derrig TD, Minister for Education, laid the foundation stone of Cork’s new £60,000 Municipal School of Commerce and Domestic Science. The attendance included William T Cosgrave TD who travelled especially from Dublin for the occasion. The site and the foundation stone were first blessed by Rev J Canon Murphy, St Finbarr’s South Chapel, who then delivered a short address. The Canon blessed the stone. He noted that they took that day the first step in the direction of a “great municipal, commercial academy, which they hoped would be worthy of the size, dignity and importance of the city of Cork”. He prayed that this great inception might one day become a source of knowledge and instruction to many generations of the youth of the City of Cork “that they might learn many useful lessons of culture and science and skill, which would then be useful members of society and reflect credit on the city of their birth”.”
Kieran McCarthy, Cork Independent, 11 April 2013
Over the past twenty-five years, I have been at the opening or sod-turning on ten or more buildings, generally public buildings. I cannot recall any being blessed by a priest. The openings have generally been carried out by a politician – Lord Mayor or a Minister.
I wonder if:
- The absence of blessings is due to increased secularisation of society or an increased desire not to be seen to be associated with religious
- In future years, the politicians may follow the priests away from such openings and if the building owners/occupiers will not want to be seen associating with politicians also.