18 December 2017, Monday
Parish History


We welcome you to our Church of St. Michael in the Parish of Dun Laoghaire, the name of which testifies to the existence of a fort (Dun) in the area of the present Coastguard Station The Fort was said to have been the residence of Laoghaire, High King of Ireland and one of St. Patrick’s converts, during the 5th century.


Originally part of the large parish area with its centre at Loughlinstown, our Parish was constituted on April 6, 1829, exactly a week prior to the passing of the Bill of Emancipation in the English Parliament on April 13, 1829.

 

alt

 
The changing of the name of the town from its old name ‘Dunleary’ or ‘Dunlary’ to ‘Kingston’ came with the Royal Visit of George IV to Ireland and on his departure from the Harbour in September 1821. Of course the former name has been restored, long since, in its proper Irish form, ‘Dun Laoghaire’.

 

alt

 

Commencing as a small Chapel from the early 1820’s our Church was enlarged and improved by Canon Bartholomew Sheridan, our first Parish Priest, and completed by him in 1835.


During the period 1865-1879 Monsignor Edward McCabe, P.P., (later to become Cardinal Archbishop of Dublin) was responsible for much enlargement of the Church and for its restructuring in neo-Gothic style, adding aisles to the nave with cherestories and fine façade.


During the period 1885-1902 Monsignor Nicholas Dean Walsh P.P., continued with renovations and interior decoration, and completed the Church with the addition of the 200 feet tower and spire, now a famous landmark and seamark along the South Dublin coastline.

 

alt

 

In July 1965, the Church was destroyed by a disastrous fire. With the construction of a temporary Church on the site of our Parochial Hall, we were to continue with all Church services until the opening of the present Church on the original site, on October 7, 1973.

 

alt

 

The great tower and spire, which survived the fire, now stands alongside the Church (albeit a more modern structure) yet carefully matching it with appropriate granite stone from the old Church, thus amalgamating the old with the new.


During 2004 large-scale restoration work was begun on the tower and spire, together with the Church roof area, as part of our new Parish Development Programme and will soon be completed, costing in excess of €800,000. A much-needed Parish Pastoral Centre is currently being planned and hopefully work on this project will commence in due course. A spacious well-equipped Pastoral Centre is an absolute necessity for our Parish and cannot come one hour too soon!


As we celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the Constitution of our Parish we extend a renewed ‘Cead Mile Failte’ to all our visitors and, of course, to our own good Parishioners and to all those who continue to make our Church their Spiritual Home.


I am delighted to extend to you all the heartiest and warmest of welcomes to our Church of St. Michael and to our Parish of Dun Laoghaire. Dun Laoghaire for the yachting, the boating, the walking, the dining, the shopping and St. Michael’s for the praying!                           

                                                                      Patrick J. Mangan.