Sunday, November 3, 2013


The Capuchins arrived in this area of Dublin's Northside inner city around 1689 and shortly after built a  'Mass House' where the present church stands.  It was enlarged in 1796 and became the 'Church Street Chapel'.  The 'penal chapel' was replaced with the laying of the foundation stone of the present church (laid by Cardinal Cullen) in 1868 and it was finished in 1881.  This church was designed by James J. McCarthy and is built in the revived decorated Gothic style.  It is one of the most beautifully designed churches in Dublin.  The ceiling resembles an inverted ship and gives the roof a very steep pitch so much so that snow slides off!  I have also heard it claimed it was built so high so that the smell from the congregation had somewhere to go.  Many of them were from the tenements around Church Street and worked, those that could get work, in the fish markers, soap factory etc.


  1. Lovely photo. I've celebrated Mass there only twice, at the funeral of an old family friend and at the funeral of an uncle by marriage. I joined the altar boys there in 1950 but got discouraged at having to memorise the Confiteor and left! The late Fr John Grace OFM Cap was the head altar boy at the time and Brother Colmcille the one in charge. One memory I have is of the Sunday St Maria Goretti was canonised in Rome. Alessandro Serenelli, who killed her, spent his latter years in a Capuchin friary, though I didn't know that connection at the time. But the 15 mysteries of the Rosary struck me as a 7-year-old as a bit too much! I grew up in Aughrim St parish and many in the lower end of that used to go to Sunday Mass in Church St. Our family weren't among those but my late father, who went to Mass every day of his life, including the day he died, used to go to the very early Mass in Church St on weekdays while he was still working as a general foreman on building sites. I think too that Frank Duff often went to Mass there. A truly blessed place.

  2. Thanks it is! It is a shame that so many people have moved away from the area and the apartment blocks seem to cater for those who work in Dublin but leave the city at weekends.



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