St. Mochua's Desk

St. Mochua's Desk lies in the grounds of Timahoe's Round Tower. The work was designed and made by sculptor Michael Burke in association with the staff and students of Scoil Mhuire Fatima. During 2004 there had been a 14-week residency with the students of third to sixth classes in the school. Students explored the variety of work which might be included under the term 'sculpture;' what theme their piece might have; what materials were appropriate and affordable; where the work might be located and what form the final piece might take.

Once the location was decided upon, St. Mochua became the obvious subject and the students knew all about him. St. Mochua founded a monastery - Teách Mochua - in the seventh century. A warrior at first, Mochua converted to Christianity at the age of 30 and later became a monk.

In Teách Mochua - from which Timahoe takes its name - St. Mochua lived as a hermit who had no worldly goods save a rooster, a mouse and a fly. The rooster kept the hours of Matins for him; the mouse never let him sleep more than three hours a day or night, and if he should sleep longer, being weary with vigils and prostrations, the mouse would start licking his ear until it woke him. The fly's role was to walk along each line of his Psalter as he read it, and when he was weary with saying his psalms, the fly would abide upon the line where he stopped, until he could return again to the Psalms.

St. Mochua died in the year 657. St. Mochua's Desk is made out of welded stainless steel, red granite and bronze. The book and the column are made of limestone.

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