An old friend usually sends me a home-made card at Christmas. This year I think he excelled himself, producing a card with an interesting topical twist and it is based on an incident in the history of St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Donegall Street.
Earlier this year there was controversy over a loyalist band playing a tune outside St Patrick's but some years ago a loyalist tune was played inside St Patrick's.
The church was built between 1810 and 1812 to the design of Patrick Davis and the first organist was John Willis. However he was dismissed for playing The Boyne Water, with variations, at a service in St Patrick's. According to Hugh Dixon it was 'probably the only occasion on which this was ever played in an Irish Roman Catholic Church.'
As a result of his choice, his services were dispensed with but he went on to play the organ in St Anne's parish church, now St Anne's Cathedral, where he played from 1825 to 1847, and later became the first organist in Donegall Street Methodist Church. However we don't know if he played The Boyne Water during these appointments.