St Patrick and St Seachnalls Church
In 1980, the parish priest, Fr. Brendan Caffrey, decided that due to the lack of space for expansion and also the increase in population, a new church in Dunshaughlin was needed. The field adjoining the presbytery, being church property, was an ideal site. So, with fundraising in full swing, the foundation stone was laid by Bishop McCormack on January 24th 1982. With the design team of Jack Irwin, Leonard and Raymond Morgan and building contractor, Patsy McCabe, the church of Sts. Patrick and Seachnall was consecrated by Bishop McCormack in November 1982.
In building the new church, great consideration was given to incorporating parts of the old church (now the local library), e.g. the altar front and marble from the pulpit were used in constructing the lectern, altar and celebrant’s chair. The beautiful stained glass windows were dismantled and adapted to suit the new design. The tabernacle lamp was also transferred and what had been brass gates at the altar rails of the old church can now be seen in their redesigned form as kneelers, used at weddings. The candle shrine in the hallway also travelled the 200 yards to its new home!
An incident worth mentioning is that the church bell took a little longer to be relocated. Margaret Lynch, the sacristan at the time was ringing the Angelus when the bell fell from its mounting in the belfry and landed a few feet away from her. It had to have been a frightening experience since the bell weighed 3 cwt. It was then removed to the parochial house for safe keeping – but unfortunately was not safe enough. It was subsequently stolen. Thankfully An Garda Siochana with help from some local detectives, managed to recover it the next day. It was then refurbished and Shaun Mctigue, with his team (of Paul McTigue RIP, Jack Irwin and Martin Joyce) built the present tower and installed the bell in its new home. The inscription on the bell reads; Drogheda Iron Works 1876. The cross on the apex of the old church was also transferred around this time. The Stations of the Cross however, were new – designed and executed in copper by Jim Marsden.
By Michael Kenny RIP
Excerpt from the Dunshaughlin and Culmullen Parish 2007 Jubilee Commemorative booklet.