Paddy delivers informative and educational talk

On Wednesday 7th February local historian Paddy Neary delivered an in-depth talk on the O’ Loughlin Memorial church of St John the Evangelist to a group of enthusiasts from the Eastern Environs.

The large attendance was enthralled as Paddy related how worship of St John the Evangelist began as far back as the 13th century when the Norman lord William Earl Marshal endowed lands “beyond the bridge of Kilkenny to the east” to the Brethren of the Hospital of St. John the Evangelist.

This allowed the first Mass to be celebrated on the 27th December 1220.

The ruins of this church are still visible on the grounds of St John’s Church of Ireland in John Street.

Subsequently. Maudlin Street was the site of Catholic Churches in the area up until 1908. At that time Martin O’Loughlin from Castlewarren having made a fortune in the goldfields of Ballarat Australia asked that after his death part of his estate be used to build a church in Kilkenny.

Eventually, after much consultation and having received approval from Bishop Brownrigg the present site was chosen.

Built in the Gothic style the proposed 234ft steeple wasn’t erected because it was feared that that the extra weight would affect the stability of the building.

The church was consecrated in a five hour ceremony on 19th June 1908.

Paddy’s talk was appreciable shorter and afterwards the attendance had the opportunity to chat and interact in the Parish Centre as they enjoyed light refreshments courtesy of the Eastern Environs community group.

On behalf of the group, chairperson Geraldine Dillon thanked Paddy Neary for his comprehensive information, delivered in a relaxed, friendly manner.

She thanked Fr. Dan Carroll, St John’s for allowing the group to gather around the Altar of the church and she also had words of praise for sacristans Jane Dineen and Ann Fitzpatrick whose organisational skills helped ensure a successful outcome.

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