SAINT PATRICK'S CATHOLIC CHURCH, BALLYARGAN

The indenture for leasing the land was signed in 1762 after local landlord Alexander Thomas Stewart witnessed his tenants devoutly kneeling in the snow to worship. The church was probably constructed a few years later but no definite record can be found until 1799. In the year following the 1798 rebellion, a troop of Welsh horse attempted to raid the church during Sunday morning worship but were persuaded to leave by Mr. Stewart.

Callaghan & Company from Lurgan built Ballyargan according to the plans of architect C. J. Robb. Building costs totalled 900, which was paid off in the same year.

In the 1930s, the church at Ballyargan was demolished and rebuilt. The foundation stone for the new building was inlaid with coins of the realm for that year and set in place by Cardinal McRory on 17th July 1932. It was built on land belonging to the Magill family, members of whom are buried by the sacristy door.

The church suffered an arson attack on 20th August 1995. Although there was no structural damage, the church was badly smoke-damaged and remained closed until 11th November 1995.


St. Patrick's Ballyargan photo St. Patrick's Ballyargan photo

St. Patrick's Ballyargan photo St. Patrick's Ballyargan photo

St. Patrick's Ballyargan photo


THE OLD CHAPEL OF BALLYARGAN
(Possibly by the Acton poet John Quin)

Oh! all the world's alike to me,
And Nature's beauties rare
In tree and flower and verdant vale
Are pleasant everywhere
But yet no sunny land on earth
For me can e'er surpass
The quiet hills and rippling rills
And homes of Mullaglass.

The old like me whose lives were spent
Among those happy dells,
Where every stile or ivied wall
A fond remembrance tells,
Can easily trace each curving road,
Each winding road and pass
To the little whitewashed Chapel
'Mid the homes of Mullaglass.

Oh! memories of early years,
When as a boy I trod
To the modest church upon the hill
To know and learn of God;
And the good priest smiled with tenderness
On the happy children's class
In the little whitewashed Chapel
'Mid the homes of Mullaglass.

And when each Sunday morning came
We all were gathered there,
When Holy Mass was offered up
And the place was filled with prayer;
And when the "Sursum Corda" rose
In tones we loved so well,
We lifted up our hearts in praise
At the tinkling of the bell,
In praise to God for gifts to all -
No thought of rank or class -
In that little whitewashed Chapel
'Mid the homes of Mullaglass.