Our Churches - Killeigh Parish

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Our Churches

History & Heritage

St. Patrick's, Killeigh

The 'Old Church'
as it was inside.

Pencil drawing of the above
'Old Church' of Killeigh.

The outline of the building is still visable in the 'Old Cemetery'

The 'Old Church' as it was before demolition

St Patricks Killeigh
Date of church: 1971
Architect: Patrick J. Shehan
Builder: J. J. Kilmartin
Building pastor:
Fr. Daniel Kennedy PP.
Seating: 600
Cost.. £70,000
Cill achaidh, church of the field; earlier Acha-droma-fada, the field of the long ridge. 'Cill' was Prefixed after St. Senchell had his church in the area.
The long ridge is the predominant feature of the extensive flat countryside.
At the beginning of the 6th century, St. Senchell
(the elder), converted by St. Patrick, founded his monastery at Killeigh. Many ancient local chieftains are buried in the monastery's graveyard. O'Conor Faly built a Franciscan monastery there in 1393. This was on the road to Tullamore. Stone from its walls was later used locally in buildings. Buried here is an early bishop of Kildare, Finn Mac Tiarchan, who died in 1160 AD.
A convent of Augustinian nuns also existed in Killeigh. Margaret O'Carroll, mother of a member of the order, Finola, conducted two large festivals on the feast day of St. Senchell, one in Killeigh and one in Rathangan, Co. Kildare.
The waters of Killeigh’s seven blessed wells are said to have curative powers.

St. Joseph's, Ballinagar
Date of church: 1837
Style: gothic, barn_type
Building pastor:
Fr. James Kinsella PP
Burned 12 Feb 2004
Re-opened 23 April 2006

(Beal Átha na gCarr, The ford mouth or ford of the cars).
The fordable crossing points of rivers were known to the very earliest colonists, and distinguished by name. This ford is believed to have been near Ballinagar, on the road to Geashill.
A thatched chapel served the Ballinagar area in Penal times and the present church was built over it. The church was improved over the years, with flooring, dry lining, re-roofing, altar rails, marble altars, and in 2002 had a new sanctuary layout, according to liturgical requirements of the Vatican Council. All was destroyed by fire on Thurs. 12th Feb.  2004.  McCarthy O’Hora of Portlaoise designed the restored church we have today.
It was blessed by Bishop Jim Moriarty, on 23rd April 2006

St. Mary's, Raheen
Date of church: 1935
Style: rectangular
Architect: P. J. Foley, Dublin
Building pastor:
Fr. Luke Byrne P.P.
Cost £10,000  

(Little rath, fort). Raheen castle stood in this townland. The area of Geashill was the scene of a fierce battle c.500 B.C. The ancient annals record the existence of many mounds in the area where Heber and other chiefs were buried. In the 1800's human bones were unearthed in this locality in large quantities.
St. Mary's replaced an older chapel situated on the opposite side of the road. The cost of the building was kept low by the voluntary assistance of local people in drawing materials, etc. The building project was initiated by Fr Luke Byrne PP His tombstone is to the left of the entrance, near the bell. When the church opened in March 1935, the PP. was Fr. Michael P. Kennedy. Bishop Matthew Cullen officiated at the opening ceremony.

St Mary's Raheen
New floodlighting Spring 2009

Registered Charity, Number 20015848
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