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‘Honey, we’ve shrunk the Cathedral!’: Armagh Men’s Shed in crafty charity drive

A second St Patrick’s RC Cathedral has recently been erected by a team of some 20 men of all ages, backgrounds and professions.

Led by Pat Moore, the collective from Armagh Men’s Shed have created a scaled model of the landmark building to help raise funds for mental health charities.

Described by group member Vincent Loughran, as an ‘incredible’ man who can ‘turn his hand to anything’, Pat laid the plans for the cathedral with the rest of the team contributing in various ways to its creation.

“It’s been a team effort”, said Pat. “Everyone has really enjoyed it and it’s turned out really well.”

The miniature masterpiece, which has been built using MDF and rendered in plaster, has an impressive level of detail and is complete with fully operational parts, including a working clock, internal lighting and individual ‘stained glass windows’.

Armagh men's Shed Cathedral

Pat Moore working on the Cathedral

Pat said: “The clock has been colour matched and it’s on time! It is set in in such a way that we can easily take it out and replace the batteries when they run out. But they have enough life in them to last around one to two years. We had to put a little glass front over the front so that we could protect it just incase people try to touch it when it goes on display but apart from that it’s identical.”

From start to finish, the building has taken around 3 months to complete, with Pat working on it primarily on Thursdays, and for one solid week towards its completion.

However, this is not their first venture into model-building construction. The handymen are now dab hands, having previously recreated Armagh’s St Malachy’s Chapel and the St Patrick’s COI Cathedral to the same exacting standard.

Both replicas have now found permanent homes where they continue to be cared for and appreciated. The hope for the new model is that it will find a safe space inside the very building that it replicates on Cathedral Road.

Before being officially rehomed, the construction is expected to go on display in a prime location at Sainsbury’s, Armagh where it will be lit up in all its glory. Members of the public are invited to appreciate the craftmanship and leave a small donation towards the benefit of the Men’s Shed mental health charities.

Convinced that it’s worth the visit, Pat commented: “Everyone that has seen it has said it is absolutely beautiful. We had five call in just today to see it. Everyone loves it.”

To mark the contribution of each member, Pat has requested that each – no matter what part they played – place their signature upon the underside of the roof.

In a final word, Pat said: “Everyone has put their bit in and we are all absolutely chuffed with the outcome.”

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