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Cashel, archiepiscopal diocese of

Cashel, archiepiscopal diocese of. The Irish archbishopric of Cashel (Caisel Muman—stone fort of Munster) was established by the Council of Raithbressail (1111), initially with oversight of the twelve dioceses of Leth Moga (southern half of Ireland), but when the Council of Kells-Mellifont (1152) further restructured Ireland into four provinces, Cashel's authority was reduced to the south-west by the creation of the Dublin province for the south-east. Patrick is said to have baptized King Aengus here (450) at the famous Rock, fortified in the 4th cent. The Council of Cashel in 1171 reformed Irish canon law. In the 13th–14th cents. its archbishops were still Irish, though the diocesan bishops were equally divided between Irish and Anglo-Norman. Cashel is still a catholic archiepiscopal see, but in 1838 the Anglican see was united with Dublin. Cashel, though still a diocese (also including Waterford and Lismore since 1833), ceased to be an Anglican archbishopric. The 13th-cent. cathedral, now roofless, was restored in 1686, but abandoned in 1749. Cormac's chapel (1127–32), enclosed by the choir and south transept, is reputed to be the most interesting Romanesque church in Ireland. St John Baptist's cathedral is neo-classical (1750–83).

Revd Dr William M. Marshall

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