Belfast Telegraph

Widower instrumental in bringing prized organ to city church

By Amanda Ferguson

The sound of music filled St Patrick's Church in Lisburn at the weekend thanks to the addition of a new £180,000 pipe organ.

A solemn blessing and dedication took place in the building at a special service marking the introduction of the impressive instrument built by Alistair McCartney through the Pipe Organ Preservation Co.

Among those in attendance on Friday was 90-year-old retired Lisburn businessman Sean O'Neill who is understood to have contributed £120,000 toward the total cost of the new organ.

The three manual and pedal instrument incorporates a redesigned case and reconditioned pipes, 62 drawstops, 46 speaking stops and 2,158 speaking pipes.

SDLP councillor Pat Catney told the Belfast Telegraph: "It's a beauty".

"Mr O'Neill made a substantial contribution to get the organ in the church in memory of his wife Peggy," Mr Catney added.

"We now have a world-class organ in Lisburn.

"It was great to witness the feast of music and the community and all the choirs turning out to celebrate."

Among those at the event compered by UTV's Frank Mitchell were a number of local choirs, leading French organist Jean-Paul Lecot, who took to the keyboards of the massive instrument and Fr Liam Lawton from Kildare.

Also in attendance were Fr Eugene O'Hagan and Fr David Delargy - two thirds of the internationally renowned singing trio, The Priests.

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