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New Church In Athy

Leinster Leader October 21, 1961

New Church To Accommodate Over 1,400 People

Before over 500 parishioners, the Archbishop of Dublin, Most Rev. Dr. McQuaid, on Sunday afternoon blessed and laid the foundation stone of the new Parish Church which is being built in Athy at a cost of £138,000.
The Church will seat about 1,400. It occupies the site of the old parish church, which was erected over 100 years ago and was demolished to make room for the new edifice. In the meantime a wooden church has been provided temporarily for the parish.
The silver trowel used by His Grace at the ceremony was presented by Messrs. R. Guy and P.V. Maloney of the firm of Messrs. O’Connor & Alyward, architects who designed the church.The stewarding was by members of Athy unit of the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps.
Clergy present
The Archbishop was assisted by Very Rev. V. Steen, P.P. V.F. Athy; Very Rev. J. Fahy, P.P., Castledermot; Very Rev. M. Browne, P.P., Ballymore Eustace; Very Rev. H. Pollock, O.P., Prior of St. Dominic’s Athy; Rev. J. Cunneen, C.C., Athy; Rev. F. Mitchell, C.C., do.; Rev. Jas Kelly, C.C., Crockstown. Rev. Jas Kelly, C.C., Kilmead; Rev. N. Neenan, C.C., Castledermot; Rev. M. O’Donohue, Convent of Mercy Chaplin, Athy; Rev. G. Canning, Castledermot Convent Chaplin; Rev. W. Tynan, Sacred Heart College Cork; Rev,. J. O’Suillivan, O.P., Athy; Rev. Dr. A. MacMahon, Archbishop’s House, and Rev. B. Houlihan, do.
Special brick lining
Athy’s new church is of Lombardie-Romanesque style. In the belfry tower, which will be 120 feet high, there will be a statue of St. Michael, after whom the church is being named. All the brick used in the building is of Irish manufacture and the internal brick lining is being made specially in Courtown, Co. Wexford.
Other features of the Church include a rose window over the main entrance; walls of a special pattern of brickwork, an open arcade at the back of the high alter, and a walking aisle on either side of the nave. Walking aisles were part of the old Lombardic style of architecture. There will be only one gallery, which will be at the back of the nave.
The grounds in the immediate vicinity of the Church will be in the nature of open terracing, in the manner of the grounds attached to famous churches in Rome, Milan and Venice.

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