« Co. Kildare Online Electronic History Journal Home »




Blessed Church for expanding population

In torrential rain on Sunday, Most Rev. Dr. Keogh, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, blessed and dedicated the Church of Christ the King, Cooleragh.
On dignified contemporary lines, the building, which cost about £36,500, has seating accommodation for 500 and will serve the parishioners of Coill Dubh and surrounding districts. It replaces the temporary Church at the Bord na Mona Works, Timahoe.
Before the extensive working of the bogs, residents had to travel either three miles to Allenwood Church or two to Staplestown.
With the great influx of Bord na Mona workers and the creation of their village, the Church at the camp, set up in 1942, was inadequate.
Eight years ago, under the direction of Very Rev. J. Doyle, P.P., Clans, plans for the erection of the new building were mooted.

The Ceremony

Assisted by Rev. W. Hughes, C.C., Nurney, and Rev. J. O'Leary, C.C., Carlow, former curates of Clane, the Bishop blessed the Church and grounds and opened the doors to the faithful.
High Mass, at which Dr. Keogh presided, with as assistants Right Rev. Monsignor J. J. Conway, P.P., V.G., Muine Beag, and Right Rev. Monsignor W. Miller, P.P., V.F., Droichead Nua, was celebrated by Very Rev. J. Doyle; Deacon, Rev. W. Hughes; Sub-Deacon, Rev. J. O'Leary, and Master of Ceremonies, Rev. P. Keogh, C.C., Clane.
The Gregorian Chant was sung by the Presentation Convent Choir, Clane, under the direction of Rev. Mother Perpetua. Mr. J. Dunny was organist.


Among the Clergy present were: Rt. Rev. Mons. M. Brenan, P.P., V.P., Edenderry: Rt. Rev. Mons. G. Mitchell, President, St. Patrick's College, Maynooth: Rt. Rev. Mons. P. Lennon, President, St. Patrick's College, Carlow: V. Rev. P. Harris, P.P., Naas: V. Rev. W. Matthews, P.P., Kill: V. Rev. J. Bennett, P.P., Caragh: V. Rev. E. O'Byrne, P.P., Allen: V. Rev. J. J. Dunny, P.P., Tinryland: V. Rev. J. McDonnell, P.P., Clonbullogue: V. Rev. C. Crowley, Admin., Carlow.
Rev. M. Gleeson, C.C., Suncroft: Rev. L. Fleming, C.F., Curragh Camp: Rev. G. Brophy, C.F., do.: Rev. T. Walsh, C.C., Kill: Rev. L. Newman, C.C., Naas: Rev. M. Kelly, D.E., Tullow: Rev. J. Kelly, C.C., Allen: Rev. T. O'Malley, C.C., Clane: Rev. T. Coonan, Knockbeg College.
Rev. C. Cullen, C.C., Edenderry, a former Clane curate: Rev. B. O'Byrne, Knockbeg College, also a former Clane curate: Rev. B. O'Byrne, C.C., Droichead Nua, and Rev. E. Shine, C.C., Droichead Nua.
Monsignor Brenan preached the special sermon. It appears on page 13.


At a reception in the Bord na Mona Works at Timahoe, Father Doyle said it was the end ― of eight years' labour ― and the beginning ― a new Church for the people ― of chapters in the history of the parish.
He thanked His Lordship for his permission and encouragement. Monsignor Miller, Monsignor Brenan and the clergy for their help.
Referring to the parishioners, he said churches could easily be erected if money was available. Without their help, that of the local committee, particularly the secretary, collectors and Bord na Mona, the occasion would not have been.
Congratulating the architects and contractor on their outstanding work, Father Doyle said it was the first time either firm had been engaged on church erection.
He thanked the choir, organist and their director, who, he said, did not praise, and the sub-contractors, particularly the designers of the stain glass windows and Stations of the Cross.

Likes Simplicity

Dr. Keogh said: "We are at our best when we are in a Church. It lifts us above the common day way of life." Thanking Father Doyle, His Lordship said church building was a troublesome job and a constant worry, but one which every priest was glad to take.
"I am not a judge of art, but I know what pleases me. I like it to be simple. My appreciation of the work is sincere. Everything is done which should be done."
Thanking the people of the parish, Dr. Keogh said that on such occasions they were inclined to be forgotten. They had borne the burden of financing this church and deserved congratulations.
Monsignor Conway congratulated the Bishop and Father Doyle on the achievement of such a magnificent edifice to God.

Unique Stations

Mr. A. Lardner, Architect, paying tribute to Father Doyle, said it was a privilege to be associated with him.
Father Doyle was mainly responsible for the unique Stations of the Cross. When visiting the supplying firm he had suggested that the Stations be made from broken glass chippings in their works.
He thanked the contractor, sub-contractors and building foreman, Mr. S. McGuire.
Referring to the building, Mr. Lardner said he and his partner, when designing it, sought a portal framed contemporary, economic and sufficient structure with the elegance fitting a church. They avoided novelty for novelty's sake.
"If we have done anything, I hope we have justified Father Doyle's trust in us," he continued.
Also present were Dail Deputies G. Sweetman, B. Crinion, W. Norton and P. G. Dooley: County Councillors H. Cosgrove, C. Weld and P. J. Frayne.
Bord na Mona was represented by Mr. D. C. Lawlor, Managing Director, Mr. A. D. Sheehan, Secretary, Mr. J. Doyle, Manager, Timahoe, and Mr. P. Barry, Manager, Lullymore.

Features of new church

The Church of Christ the King has its main entrance facing east. Its narthex is adorned by three stain glass windows depicting St. Brigid, St. Conleth, patron saint of the diocese, and St. Patrick.
On the Gospel side, beside the entrance to the choir gallery, is a 30' x 7' window of the twelve apostles and in the sanctuary a 30' x 10' one of Christ. The plain and worked glass is wedded to give unity and maximum light.
The altar and tabernacle are of plain marble and gold, and the pulpit and railings also marble. The interior walls are in plain brick under a grained wood ceiling. On the northern wall are unique mosaic Stations of the Cross made from stain glass tesserae and can be luminated by strip lighting. Heating is by infra ray.
The architects were Mr. A. Lardner and Partner, Dublin; contractor, James Geraghty and Co., Celbridge. The designers and manufacturers of the windows and stations were Messrs. Murphy Devitt, Dublin.




An article from the Leinster Leader of 12 October 1963 on the blessing and dedication of the new church at Coolreagh. Re-typed by Chris Holzgräwe

Powered by
Movable Type 3.2