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Cappagh Church | Oratory | Church Ruins

Cappagh Church

Cappagh Church
Cappagh Church
© Cappagh Church


The church in Cappagh was built in 1839 by Fr Halpin, to replace the previous church, which had been destroyed in a storm. The church was reconstructed in 1986, and officially reopened on 15th February 1987. The foundation stone is located at the side of the church. The previous church in Cappagh was blown down on the 'Night of the Big Wind' on the 6th of January in 1839, and no trace of it now remains. Lewis described it as a large plain thatched edifice. This church had been built on Cappagh Hill to replace the mass house in Ballymorrisheen. When this church was destroyed in the storm Fr Jeremiah Halpin acquired the present site, on which he built the new church in 1839.

Altar in Cappagh Church
© Altar in Cappagh Church

The inscription over the front door reads:

Hanc Capellam Sto Jacobo
Apostolo dedicatum fieri
Fecit Rev J Halpin PP
Joanne Ryan DD Episcopo
Anno Domini 1839

A plaque on the wall, to the left as you enter the church, lists all of the donors to the church. Rev. R. Somers, P.P, donated the church altar and chancel. P & J Hayes donated the Altar rails. The baptistery was donated by Kennedy James Hayes.

Stained Glass Windows in Cappagh church  Stained Glass Windows behind the altar in Cappagh Church
© Stained Glass Windows in Cappagh Church

The window in the porch depicts St James. The window behind the altar is divided into three sections, which depict St William, the Sacred Heart, and St Michael. This window was donated by the White family in memory of William White who died in the Boer War on March 12th 1901. The White family coat of arms is depicted on this window. This coat of arms reads A Deo Fortuna et Honor. The front window was donated by Mary A McDonnell, and Emily White donated the Chancel window.

Senator Michael O'Dea donated the stained glass windows on either side of the nave. The window on the right is in memory of his only son Bernard, who died on December 8th 1916. This window depicts St Bernard of Clairvaux, to whom Mary appeared on a number of occasions. This window also depicts a Cistercian monastery as well as writer's tools, common symbols of St Bernard. The window on the left is in memory of Michael O'Dea's mother, Lucy, who died on the 25th June 1902. This window depicts St Lucy. St Lucy was martyred by Diocletian, a 4th century Roman Emperor. St Lucy is mentioned in the List of Saints remembered in the Eucharistic Prayer No. 1. A dish containing two eyes, often used as a symbol of this saint, is also depicted on this stained glass window. We would like to thank Fr Frank Duhig, PP, for additional information provided on these windows.

Side Altar to Joseph in Cappagh Church  Side Altar to Our Lady in Cappagh church
© Side Altars in Cappagh Church

The side altar, on the right hand side, is dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes. An inscription at the base of the statue reads "I am the Immaculate Conception". This statue was donated by Mrs White of Nantenan, 1877. To the left is an altar to St Joseph, donated by Thomas and Margaret Hayes, Callow, 1883, who also donated the Stations.

Buried within the church are:

  Fr Richard Mulcahy, P.P., Died 23rd January 1862, Aged 67
  Fr Robert Somers, Parish Priest, Died 20th June 1877, Aged 48

Buried in the grounds of the church are:

  Fr David Barry, P.P., Died 10th January 1937, Aged 58
  Fr Patrick Woulfe, P.P 1926-1933
  Fr William Boyce, P.P., Died 31st August 1953, Aged 57
  Fr P. Fitzgerald, P.P. 1969-1978, Died 8th June, Aged 60

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