Barr brothers bringing a touch of 'Huguenot' culture to Carrickmore

William Smith


William Smith


AS part of European Heritage Open Day, the Barr brothers are collaborating to bring a little touch of culture Huguenot culture to Carrickmore!

The Barr brothers are certainly following in the Huguenot tradition of their ancestors, with Alan serving as rector here in Sixmilecross and Termonmaguirke parish churches and Tommy working as an artist with his studio in Banbridge, Co Down.

These are two of the professions most associated with those families of French Huguenot refugees who sought refuge here in Ireland during the 17th century.

St. Columbkille’s parish Church, Main Street, Carrickmore, is pleased to be presenting an exhibition of paintings entitled “Un Beau Refuge” by Tommy. These paintings have been drawn from motifs remaining from the lives of the Huguenot refugees who settled in Ireland following Louis XIV revocation of the Edict of Nantes. They formed a small but important part of Ireland’s rich heritage and have left their mark on many aspects of daily life.

The paintings will be presented in this beautiful old church on Saturday, September 11, between 10am and 5pm. Tommy will also give an artist’s talk, starting at midday, which will discuss both the refugees and the exhibition. This will be the ninth showing of these paintings which have previously been exhibited to great acclaim in Ireland, France, Germany, the USA and New Zealand. Tommy is ‘looking forward to the day and the varied conversations he always enjoys with visitors’.

This will be the twenty fourth European Heritage Open Day. It will once again celebrate our built heritage with events this year at two hundred and fourteen historic locations across Northern Ireland. The festival has always been about bringing people together to appreciate the heritage and culture right on their doorstep. This year the theme is the celebration of inclusive and diverse heritage with a focus on the exploration of our hidden history. And so, the insight provided into this little part of our history by Tommy’s exhibition makes an important contribution to the festival.

St. Columbkille’s Parish Church was opened in 1792 and is an excellent example of the architecture of the period. Alan believes ‘the themes of inclusion and diversity in this year’s festival align perfectly with the values of the parish and that the church provides a beautiful and very appropriate setting for these particular paintings’.

The European Heritage Open Day events will take place alongside an online programme which will include virtual visits to sites and properties, guided tours and online lectures and talks. Admission is always free and everyone will be most welcome. Details can be found on the heritage web site at

european-heritage-open-days. Further examples of Tommy’s art may be viewed at and Termonmaguirke Parish Church’s web site is

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