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Leinster Leader, October 4, 1924




Sallins Catholic Church will be opened to-morrow (Sunday). His Lordship Most Rev. Dr. Foley, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, will officiate at the opening ceremony, which will consist of the blessing and dedication of the Church and the celebration of Mass.
The occasion will be one of great importance and rejoicing to the people of Sallins and district, who heretofore attended Mass at Naas, many being obliged to travel long distances, often under the most distressing weather conditions. The inhabitants old and young, have at last seen the realisation of their hopes for practically at their doors has been erected a house of worship, a compact little structure, admirably suited to their needs.
It is now more than fifteen years since the people of Sallins petitioned the Parish Priest for the privilege of having a weekly Mass celebrated in the village, and Very Rev. Fr. Norris, with that keen perception of the spiritual needs of his flock, which has been an unfailing characteristic of his pastorate, saw at once the necessity for a auxiliary Church, and gave to the petition his full support. Having obtained the sanction of the ecclesiastical authorities a committee was formed under his parentage and a collection was made for the purpose of giving effect to the project. Foremost amongst the committee were the late Mr. P.J. Healy, the late Mr. Patrick Byrne, Mr. Thos. Fleming and Mr. J.J. Flanagan, the energetic Chairman. In a remarkably short space of time the sum of £400 was realised.
Fr. Norris then conceived the idea of having a better and more up-to-date schools for the district and informed the committee of his intention to press the National Board of Education for a grant in aid of this purpose. In the early part of 1914 he was promised the necessary financial assistance and a site having been acquired the plans and specifications for the new schools were prepared. But the intervention of the world war upset all these arrangements. One of the immediate effects of the outbreak of war was the cancellation of the promised grants and the revered pastor and his willing co-operators – the people of the district – were thrown back on their own resources. Had his plans materialised he proposed that after the erection of the new schools, equipped on modern lines, the old ones should by a serious of alterations and additions be converted into a chapel of ease.
As a result of the rapid increase of the cost of building during the war years, the whole matter was left in the abeyance until 1923 when Fr. Norris and Mr. J.J. Flannigan made a new start. This time it was decided to utilise the site acquired on the first occasion for the erection of a wood and iron structure to serve as a house of worship. Tenders were invited from the leading firms in this class of building and eventually the execution of the work was entrusted to Messers. Harrison and Co. Camberwell, London. Fr. Norris now informed the committee that instead of building on the site given by G.S. and W.R. Co. he would be prepared to give the site of the school garden and adjacent ruins which he had secured some time previously. This generous offer was availed of and the clearing of the site and the laying of the concrete foundations were commenced – also the front entrance and boundary walls. Messrs. Harrison had completed their contract by February 21st 1924.
The church as finished looks rather plain in contrast to the fine examples of cut stone erected in more favoured localities. It is approached by two wide roadways. One known as School Lane – leading – from the main road affords a pleasant view of the little building with its fine entrance, and grounds planted with evergreen shrubs, and the other leads on to the Grand Canal, facilitating the parishioners in every way. These roadways have been re-surfaced and drained by the County Council, during recent weeks.
On entering one is struck by the happy arrangement of having two entrance gates and also two doors to correspond with those in the porch. The porch partition has two swing doors leading into the interior of the Church. There is also a small wicket gate and a passage for use of the officiating priest from the entrance to the vestry. The body of the Church appears much more spacious than one would imagine from its exterior aspect. It is fully seventy feet in breadth and has actual seating accommodation for 400 people.
The seats were made by Mr. T. Corcoran, contractor, Naas, and are the gift of Fr. Norris. The Church is perfectly lighted and ventilated and the Stations of the Cross look very beautiful and artistic in their oak frames, spaced as they are in the bays between each window, which is dedicated to the memory of the late Patrick and Mary Boushel, of two very worthy parishioners, is a perfect specimen of its kind. The central figure is the sacred Heart with the supporting figures of Our Lady and St. Joseph. The Alter, artistically designed, and made of pitch pine, well polished, is the gift of the late Miss Condron, Eadstown, and was made by the eminent firm of Messers Scott, Dublin, who also furnished the credence Table and Prieu-Dieu. The Communion Rail, of brass, was erected by the well known firm of Messrs. Gunning and Sons, Fleet Street, Dublin whose fine work may be seen in many Churches throughout the land. They also supplied the fine Sanctuary lamp, massive brass Candelabra and the sacred vessels and Crucifix for the Alter. On the right and left of the Chancel Arch hang two very fine pictorial representations one of the National Apostle and the other of St. Brigid. These were presented by Mrs. B. Hourihane, N.T., Sallins, in memory of her deceased husband, the late Hon. Secretary of the Church Committee. The vestries are convenient and well furnished in everything pertaining to the needs of a Church, thanks to the generosity and care of Fr. Norris who also gave the beautiful sacred vessels and vestments.
The bell which was erected by Mr. D. Corcoran, Naas, is the gift of the Very Rev. W. Lockhart, P.P., Eadstown. The people of Sallins are sincerely grateful to all concerned for the erection of a Church in their midst, fulfilling a requirement so ardently desired. To their revered pastor. Very Rev. Fr. Norris, a sense of lasting obligation is felt, for it is recognised that the earnestness and zeal with which he co-operated made success ultimately possible. He never once lost sight of the project, even when the pressure of the economic conditions compelled the committee to make an indefinite postponement of the work. On the occasion of his golden jubilee last year Fr. Norris presented the money gifts received from his parishioners to the Sallins Church Fund. A debt of gratitude is also due to Mrs. Reddy for the generous measure of her support, which went a long way, to the Chairman and members of the committee who were indefatigable, and to the farmers and others of the district whose carts, horses, etc., were readily placed at the disposal of the contractors.
Mr. D. Smyth, contractor, Sallins had charge of the carpentry section of the work, which he executed with his usual efficiency.

An article from the Leinster Leader, October 4, 1924 about the opening of the iron Chapel in Sallins. Retyped by Aisling Dermody.

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