Pontiff’s Sanctuary Furniture for historic visit to Ireland – designed & crafted by Specialist Joinery Group

Specialist Joinery Group better known for their work in the fit out of some of world’s finest buildings manufacture furniture for The Pope’s visit to Ireland.

Joinery manufacturing company Specialist Joinery Group with offices in London and Dublin and Production and Headquarters in Maghera N. Ireland have been honoured with the responsibility of the design and crafting of bespoke sanctuary furniture for the Papal visit to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families in Dublin. The special commission consisting of Altar, Ambo and Chair will be used by Pope Francis during the celebration of Mass in Phoenix Park on Sunday 26th August 2018.

The company, founded in 1988 by group Chairman John Bosco O’Hagan are a dynamic family owned and operated business well renowned in the London construction market. Their reputation for high quality craftsmanship and dedication to customer service has helped build a dazzling project portfolio with previous clients fitting out some of London’s finest buildings for companies such as including Rolls Royce, AECOM, Warner Brothers and Guildhall School of Music to name but a few.

As well as working on this prestigious commission the company recently opened newly enhanced facilities in May this year, a complete investment of £5 million pounds. The modern plant now extends to 145,000 ft² and houses the latest robotic technology in the joinery field, all complimented by the craft skills of a 250 strong workforce.

Speaking about the manufacturing and crafting of the pieces, Managing Director Ciaran O’Hagan, the eldest of John Bosco’s sons said “The brief for the Sanctuary furniture requested a minimalist style and complete simplicity for the design of the pieces. The Altar, Ambo and shroud wall for the Pontiff’s Chair have been manufactured from the finest crown cut oak expertly book matched.  As you will see there is a real natural warmth to this timber and this is accentuated by the bright mirror grade gold finish detailing on the pieces. In terms of the sizing and specification of the Pontiff’s chair, there was a great deal of detail involved and we received direct instruction from the Vatican. Our Master Craftsman making the final adjustments to the chair that has been upholstered using a very fine grade brilliant white suede worked with the greatest imaginable care, wearing white cotton gloves to reduce the likelihood of markings and blemishes to the fabric from the natural oils that can transfer from our hands.”

To mark the completion of the Sanctuary Furniture, the company welcomed a crowd of over 300 Family and Friends to exhibit the pieces before their despatch to Dublin.  After the World Meeting of Families celebration it is thought that the items will be kept on permanent exhibition in Rome.

This is in fact the company’s second commission for the World Meeting of Families celebration. During the event on Friday the team hosted a launch event for a book entitled “An Iconic Faith” by renowned author Patricia Keane, who is a presenter on Radio Maria Ireland and is Director of Charity Rebuild for Bosnia. It features the story of the company’s progression, the deeply held values of the O’Hagan family and includes details of involvement in the creation of the Icon “Amoris Laetitia” – the joy of love which was unveiled and anointed in Knock on 21st August 2017, then travelled to Rome for a blessing from Pope Francis. It has since been transported some 40,000 miles around the Parishes of Ireland in preparation for the World Meeting of Families next week.

The group’s staff who are based in Maghera and on site at the company’s many projects dotted around Europe are eagerly anticipating Pope Francis’ celebration of mass in Dublin proud to see their work on the world stage. Founder John Bosco O’Hagan who led the project personally on a day to day basis said “The Specialist Family are incredibly proud of the Sanctuary Furniture and this is without doubt the most important commission that we will ever complete in our lifetime.”

The company will be featured on RTE 1’s  Nationwide show on Friday 24th August at 7pm.