The Presbyterian church at Glasleck, County Cavan which, as a cut-stone plaque set into the wall advises, was built in 1836. Its first minister was the Reverend Randal McCollum who remained in this office until his death in 1874. Aside from attending to his flock, he also maintained a farm and wrote a number of works, not least Sketches of the Highlands of Cavan and of Shirley Castle, in Farney, Taken during the Irish Famine, which was published in 1856. A diary he kept for ten years, 1861-71 is now in the collection of Cavan County Council. Evidently there was once a thriving Presbyterian community in this part of the country, thereby justifying the building’s construction, but it gradually declined in the second half of the last century and closed in 1998, when the congregation was amalgamated with that of First Bailieborough.
Through decay or vandalism this church will inevitably join all the others and fall into ruin . Perhaps the state should insist that if a church is closed all the bodies are reinterred in a new location thus allowing for another use of the property. Boarding up the windows and quietly slipping away should no longer be acceptable.
No need to reinterre the mortal remains elsewhere. Why disturb their resting place? Lots of uses can be put forward for use of the building without this kind of action. If they can afford to move the remains then the church could have stayed open. I know that I have a connection to my church and that’s where I see myself going at the end of my days as I am sure that the people whose mortal remains lie there resting felt the same.
There is nothing more sad than a closed, boarded up church.