The Loss of Local History


The former Roman Catholic church in Killyon, County Meath. The building is believed to have been built c.1820 by Fr Laurence Shaw, last of a long line of Dominican friars who had served the community for many centuries in this part of the country. In other words, it predates the Repeal of the final Penal Laws at the end of the decade, which helps to explain the building’s simple T-shape form. It was used for services until the late 1950s when a new church was constructed on the opposite side of the road to the design of architect James Fehily; ironically this church is now undergoing extensive restoration. Meanwhile the older building, which seems to have served other purposes in subsequent decades, is swiftly falling into ruin. With it crumbles part of the area’s history.


7 comments on “The Loss of Local History

  1. upsew says:

    I can never understand how buildings like these are left to the elements- especially in thriving communities where they could easily be adapted – love the simplicity of this building

  2. Mitch says:

    My father’s family live just across from that church. Many an adventure was had exploring it. The old priest in the new church was famous for giving a quick mass speeding through the ceremony like a lunatic.

  3. Nick says:

    The horror is the modern church that was built just across the road and replaced what was a lovely, proportionate and charming addition to a the streetscape.

  4. I notice that this building is on Meath County Council’s list of ‘Protected Structures’. It doesn’t look as if they are doing anything to protect it. Very often in cases like this a perfectly good church is abandoned and replaced with a bigger one which in time becomes too big for the diminishing size of its congregation. When this happens the original church once again becomes more suitable. I don’t know if this is the case here but if it is it is a bitter irony.

  5. Rory J Whelan says:

    Far be it for me to call us cynics, but in this country we know the price of everything and the value of nothing

  6. It was (still is?) common to see abandoned derelict cottages by the road with replacement modern bungalows next door – replete with Fred Flintstone chimneys and neo-Georgian front doors, Bungalow Bliss. It will be a disaster if this happens to churches as well.

  7. Tom Crane says:

    Simply installing a roof would so so much to preserve it.

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