After brief discussions with some other members, I have decided to throw up the following. I hope people are interested in the future of 'The Mount', because I certainly am. Comments much appriciated. My aim in this is to raise awareness. Enjoy.
The Passionist order first arrived in Ireland on a mission to St. Audoens in 1849. In 1855, after deciding to set up an establishment in Ireland after verios missions, land in Harolds Cross was decided upon after recommendations from Fr. Matthew Collier of Rathmines. In 1856, the land, along with a 'tall red-brick building, towering above some orchard trees' was bought from Mrs. Eliza Byrne for the sum of Â£2,200. On August 15th 1856, the first mass was celebrated in the parlour of the house. The small parlour became too cramped, and by September 17th, a foundation stone was laid for a new chapel extending to the right of the old house. I could hold a congregation of 600 people.
As more and more fathers and brothers were assigned to Mount Argus (the name of the original house), it was decided that a new monastery was needed. It was to be built behind the old house, and extend to the left. The architect was J.J. Mc Carthy, and the builder Mr. Meade. The foundation stone was laid on June 13th 1859 by Dr. Whelan, Bishop of Bombay. The ground floor was to house the kitchen, dining room, and public rooms, while the upper floors contained the private chapel, library, and the Passionists rooms, along with bathrooms and a sick room. The order hoped to eventually build a suitable church. Misunderstandings arose with the builders, and they withdrew from the project. The passionist monks took on the task of completing the work themselves, along with local labour as their workforce. The new monastery was opened on September 8th, 18663, and described as 'the noblest religious house erected in these countries since the so-called"reformation".' The construction cost the orderr Â£12,000.
By 1878 a new church was built to the left of the monastery, after a pause in work after money shortages (work began in 1866 on the church)
In 1936, yet more work was to take place in the monastery, with the addition of a new student wing. The work started on April 3rd 1936, and was finished by april 1938. The architect was Mr. Powell, and the builders were Messrs M. O Callaghan and Co. Ltd.
Now, in 2008, with vocations dropping, and the community at Mount Argus not getting any younger, the decision has been made to construct a new, modern monastery to the front of the old one. Work on this monastery is due to start soon - planning permission has already been granted accoring to the Irish Times.
Just last wednesday news was released that the final plot of land, a 5.7 acre site fronting onto Kimmage Road Lower, has been sold by the order for in the region of €20 Million. The monastery, on a further 1.7 acres has also been sold. Conditions of the sale include that at least the facade of the original monastery be retained, and that a new community centre be constructed on the lands. The developer, Eugene Larkin of Twinlite, reckons that 40 apartments can fit into the site of the demolished monastery, while 200 houses and apartments can go onto the fields at the front. Proceeds from the sale will go towards renovations in the church, and improving the shrine of St. Charles of Mount Argus, which is in the church.
Here's some more reading......
sources: Irish Times website; 'Mount Argus and Ireland, 150 years of passionist presence'