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Monagea Church | Church Ruins

Monagea Church

Monagea church
© Monagea church

The present day church in Monagea was built in 1839. The church is dedicated to the Lady of the Visitation. A short tree-lined avenue leads up to the church. It is believed that some of the trees in the avenue were planted about the time that the new church was built, after the Big Wind of January 6th 1839.

Cross in grounds
© Cross in grounds

Prior to its completion, this church was damaged on the Night of the Big Wind. The church was in the process of being built at the time, and it is claimed that the roof was knocked during this storm. However, according to the foundation stone building commenced on the 2nd of July 1839. Therefore, it is possible that the story about the Night of the Big Wind is inaccurate.

The church is built from stone that was brought from the nearby quarry of Ard na Sligna, which is in the parish of Templeglantine. The cut stone is at the front of church while the rumble stone can be seen where the foundation stone is placed in the wall. The roof in the church is very high.

Altar in Monagea church
© Altar in Monagea church

There are four plaques on the back wall of the church. One plaque commemorates the death of Donal Sheahan from Ballintubbrid, who was killed in action in 1916 on his way to meet Roger Casement at Banna Strand. Another plaque tells us that the priests and people of the parish erected the altar to the memory of John Donovan P.P., who died on July 24th 1860.

Foundation stone in Monagea church
© Foundation stone in Monagea church

There is also a plaque to the Sheehy family from Ballintubbrid, who were from the parish of Raheenagh. They were either landowners or land agents in west Limerick. They have a tomb in the graveyard in Monagea. There is also a plaque to Fr John Clifford P.P. who died on August 1st 1880, aged 59. Fr Clifford is buried in the church.

Stained Glass windows in Monagea church  Stained Glass windows in Monagea church
© Stained Glass windows in Monagea church

In the church there is a statue to St Joseph on the left of the church. Behind the altar there is a statue of the Sacred Heart on the left and a statue of Mary on the right.

There are two fine stained glass windows of St Patrick & St Brigid, with a small window of Jesus above them, at the back of the church, in memory of Catherine and John Hanley. They were given to the church by the self-styled "Baron of Broadway", John J. Hanley. The Baron Hanley was a native of the parish who went to America and found his fame and fortune in the USA. Harry Clarke, who was employed by Fr Ryan, the parish priest at that time, designed the windows. Clarke also designed the windows in the Honan Chapel in UCC.

Statue of Christ  Statue of Mary
© Statues in Monagea church

In the grounds of the church, there is a cross to the Mission that was given by the Redemptorists in June 1944.

There is a post-box to the right of the entrance to the church grounds. This post-box dates back to the time when the postal service was run by the Royal Mail and bears the symbol of the crown. Today the box has been painted green. Fr James O'Shea built a large parochial house in the mid-1860s for the two parishes of Monagea and Templeglantine. After the splitting of the parish in 1864, Fr John Walsh built a parochial house in Templeglantine with the assistance of the local landlord.

Buried within the church are:

  Fr John Clifford, Parish Priest, Died 1st August 1880, Aged 59

Two other priests were reputedly buried in the church. It was claimed that Fr John Donovan was buried in the church but no remains were found when Fr. Costello excavated the alleged site of the burials.

Buried in the grounds of the church are:

  Canon C. Mulhane, Dean of Warrington, A native of the parish
  Daniel Curtin, Died on 11th November 1913, Aged 75
  Patrick Ryan, Parish Priest, Died on May 5th 1942

Monagea Church | Church Ruins

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