In 1868, when the Cathedral was begun taking an impressive 47 years to complete in full. Cobh or Queenstown as it was then called, was a relatively prosperous place. This was because it was Ireland’s principal emigration outlet. More than five million people emigrated from Ireland in the nineteenth century – mainly to the United States, Australia and Canada and a large proportion of them left from Queenstown and in fact was one of the last sights they would have had of their homeland.
St. Colman’s, named after the patron saint of the diocese St. Colman Mac Leinin, was inspired by the great cathedrals of medieval France such as Chartres and Amiens. St. Colman’s Cathedral is the only Irish Catholic Victorian cathedral to preserve its interior fully intact.