Welcome to St. Patrick’s Glencullen
They are located on the Glencullen Road beside Johnny Fox’s Pub and about 100 metres from the Ballyedmonduff Road intersection.
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History of St. Patrick’s Glencullen
The original church in Glencullen was built in 1824. It bears a tablet with the inscription. St. Patrick’s Chapel erected A.D. 1824 to the Honour and Glory of God.’
When worship was forbidden
The Parish lands surrounding the current Church is steeped in history. The old Mass House in Newtown served as a place of worship, a Mass Shelter, during Penal Times. In that period the Eucharist was celebrated in barns, behind hedges or amongst rocks. In this way the priest and congregation remained out of sight of roving bands of soldiers.
The bishops and religious orders were forced into exile. The diocesan clergy were obliged to register and prove to the authorities they were loyal citizens of the crown. Priests were persecuted and hunted down, some were martyred.
As the 18th century wore on, the Penal Laws were relaxed and eventually removed from the statute books. Taylor’s Map of 1816 marks a chapel in Glencullen. From 1829, the year of Catholic Emancipation and the year our parish was established, men of any Christian persuasion could enter Parliament.
Catholic Emancipation was largely achieved by the efforts of Daniel O’Connell who had close links with Glencullen. He was present at a meeting in Glencullen House on 8th February 1823 when the idea of forming the Catholic Association, an organisation to secure Catholic Emancipation, was first discussed.
The Association was dissolved on 12th February 1829 when its aims had finally been achieved.
The Stained Glass Windows Above
In 1925 before travelling to England to enter the Order of the French Daughters of Charity, Emily Rafferty donated, in memory of her parents, Justice of the Peace and Coroner for South County Dublin – William Arthur Rafferty and his wife Louisa Carew Rafferty, the three stained glass windows behind the altar in St. Patrick’s, Glencullen.
She also donated £1,000 towards the building of the Chapel of Our Lady of the Wayside in Kilternan. The window on the left, in memory of Louisa Rafferty, depicts Mary the Mother of Jesus standing by her crucified Son.
The middle window shows Jesus crucified with Mary Magdalene at the foot of the Cross and the window on the right, in memory of William Arthur Rafferty, depicts John the Beloved Disciple.
On Sunday mornings Emily travelled with her parents by horse and carriage to Mass in St Patrick’s. In severe weather the family would join their neighbours and walk along the Mass Path through nearby Ballybetagh Wood and Lenehan’s Farm. After many decades of devoted service to the Church, Sr. Mary Rafferty died in the convent of the Rue du Bac on 5th April 1966.
The graveyard at the rear of St. Patrick’s Church, serves Sandyford Parish. In recent years the population has risen sharply, making it the largest parish in the country. Cemetery Sunday is held each year in July. Mass is celebrated in the open air, with up to 3000 people in attendance at the graves of friends and relatives. Many are seen in the weeks before tidying the graves in preparation.
On the day, the graveyard is a mass of flowers. It is a great community occasion where neighbours meet and those who have left the parish return year after year. The Graveyard Committee spend weeks preparing the graveyard. They can be seen and heard, evening after evening, working at cutting grass and hedges, spraying, raking and keeping the cemetery beautiful.