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St Mary's Church

Church.jpgThe present Church was built by Rev. Canon Peter Farrelly P.P. between 1868 and 1873. It was dedicated in 1873 by Cardinal Cullen and the sermon was given by the famous Dominican Fr. Tom Burke O.P. on the 24th of September 1873. Cardinal Cullen was in attendance at the invitation of his friend and former secretary Dr. Conroy Bishop of Ardagh. The distinguished guests were later entertained in the Manor House. The title was originally “The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary”. The architect of the church was Mr. Colbe and on his death Mr. Hague. The next parish priest Rev. Daniel Gray completed the building and erected the present parochial residence. The final touches to the new church were carried out by his successor Canon Terence Martin who added the tower and steeple in 1909. The tower has a carved stone with the date A.D. 1872. The building is cruciform consisting of a porch as main entrance, nave, side aisles, sanctuary and a sacristy on either side.  An earlier chapel stood between the present church and the grounds of the parochial house where the tombstone of its founder Fr. Thomas McCormick, who died in 1811, can still be seen. It was he who obtained the site from Richard Lovell Edgeworth and built the chapel in 1787. It succeeded a penal “Mass-house” where a strange accident was recorded in Faulkner’s Dublin Journal of 31st December 1749. It appears that during Mass some mischievous person outside cried “fire”. In the resulting confusion where people tried to get out, the wall gave way in several places and part of the roof fell in. One person was killed and 2 mortally bruised and upwards of 20 crushed and many severely hurt. The pulpit was also pitch pine and was a donation from the late Madame Edgeworth who was a catholic and died in Paris in 1928. She also gave a generous donation towards the erection of the tower and did not seek any publicity for her charity.