Mount Argus

Mount Argus

Postby djasmith » Sun May 18, 2008 9:34 pm

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 £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 £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.

dja.



Here's some more reading......

http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/commercialproperty/2008/0514/1210635323778.html

sources: Irish Times website; 'Mount Argus and Ireland, 150 years of passionist presence'
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Re: Mount Argus

Postby Praxiteles » Sun May 18, 2008 9:51 pm

Are the church and monastery at Mount Argus not on the list of protected structures of Dublin City Coucnil?
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Re: Mount Argus

Postby GrahamH » Sun May 18, 2008 9:52 pm

Only the church.
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Re: Mount Argus

Postby Praxiteles » Sun May 18, 2008 10:03 pm

GrahamH wrote:Only the church.


Is that possible?

However, the monastery is within the curtilege of the church and consequently enjoys, internally and externally, the same same protected status as the church.
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Re: Mount Argus

Postby GrahamH » Sun May 18, 2008 10:13 pm

Only the church is listed as being protected under Kimmage Road Lower. Given the monastery directly adjoins it and is essentially part of the same building, it is possible that it may also be protected.
It is unusual for this not to be specified on the Record.

Personally I would imagine it to be protected, but the redevelopment proposal to retain only the facade suggests otherwise...
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Re: Mount Argus

Postby Praxiteles » Sun May 18, 2008 10:41 pm

Here we are, Section 2 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 defining the meaning of "structure":

“structure” means any building, structure, excavation, or other thing constructed or made on, in or under any land, or any part of a structure so defined, and—

(a) where the context so admits, includes the land on, in or under which the structure is situate, and

(b) in relation to a protected structure or proposed protected structure, includes—

(i) the interior of the structure,

(ii) the land lying within the curtilage of the structure,

(iii) any other structures lying within that curtilage and their interiors, and

(iv) all fixtures and features which form part of the interior or exterior of any structure or structures referred to in subparagraph (i) or (iii);
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Re: Mount Argus

Postby Praxiteles » Sun May 18, 2008 10:48 pm

And here we have Section 57 (10) (b) of Planning and Development Act 2000:

"b) A planning authority, or the Board on appeal, shall not grant permission for the demolition of a protected structure or proposed protected structure, save in exceptional circumstances".
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Re: Mount Argus

Postby ctesiphon » Mon May 19, 2008 9:32 am

Sadly, the bar for 'exceptional circumstances' has been set very low in the eyes of DCC, if the Clarence case is anything to go by.
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Re: Mount Argus

Postby djasmith » Mon May 19, 2008 12:23 pm

so then is there any hope at all for its future with the way the planning laws are written?? or is that pretty much it? enjoy it while it's still there?
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Re: Mount Argus

Postby ctesiphon » Mon May 19, 2008 1:41 pm

Is the application still 'live'? Make a submission! That's the best way to get local voices heard.
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Re: Mount Argus

Postby Praxiteles » Mon May 19, 2008 2:38 pm

ctesiphon wrote:Sadly, the bar for 'exceptional circumstances' has been set very low in the eyes of DCC, if the Clarence case is anything to go by.



Perhaps the time has come to raise the bar -as it were - with Dublin CIty Council by means of a test case in ABP and also in the Courts.

White -v- Dublin City Council [2004] has already put manners on the City Council in respect of its operation of the Planning and Development Act!!
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Re: Mount Argus

Postby Praxiteles » Mon May 19, 2008 2:58 pm

Some further historical material on the building of Mount Argus. It appears that the architect was JJ McCarthy -the architect for Monaghan Cathedral, Maynooth College Chapel, and St. Saviour's in Dublin. He is not exactly an insignificant architect.

http://homepage.eircom.net/~mountargus/history/buildings.htm
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Re: Mount Argus

Postby djasmith » Tue Dec 23, 2008 3:07 pm

Just an update on progress (if it could be called that....)


Image



Image


The above is a planning notice that went up on the 10th of this month. It basically intends to isolate the monastary from the existing church. The church is a protected structure, the monastary is not, although previous discussions have shown that it may be protected under 'curtilage'. Is this step the first in demolishing the old monastery, designed by J.J McCarthy and predating the church??

Not so long ago we saw the 19th C. Presentation convent in Terenure demolished, which angered many members of Archiseek..... could the same happen Mount Argus??

The above is a planning notice that went up on the 10th of this month. It basically intends to isolate the monastary from the existing church. The church is a protected structure, the monastary is not, although previous discussions have shown that it may be protected under 'curtilage'. Is this step the first in demolishing the old monastery, designed by J.J McCarthy and predating the church??

Not so long ago we saw the 19th C. Presentation convent in Terenure demolished, which angered many members of Archiseek..... could the same happen Mount Argus??

I'm just posting this as a reminder that it might not be too late to help save this building, and any help or advice would really really appriciated..... As you can imagine an 18 year old Leaving Cert student with no previous experience in this sort of thing is not having a whole lot of success! Dublin City Council have a reputation for being quite stubborn when it comes to planning matters like this....

Regards
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Re: Mount Argus

Postby Maud » Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:01 pm

There have been 19 objections to the planning application. Not many objections about the alterations to the monastery however. It is worrying that, as you say, the 19th century building in Terenure was demolished. I really hope the same doesn't happen here. I made an objection but I wish I had placed more emphasis on objecting to the part of the proposal regarding the monastery...
The field next to the church in which development is proposed is the former location of the pond! You can see it in one of the links above.
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Re: Mount Argus

Postby djasmith » Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:09 pm

In the last couple of weeks the planning notice has gone up alongside this one for demolition of the monastery, to be replaced with something like 20 apartments and a creche, or something along those lines. Would anyone like to offer me advice on how I go about making a group objection with some decent arguments... I'm really trying my best to do what I can for this place but I don't seem to be getting a whole lot of support from anywhere. My attitude at this point is to surrender to development, and do my best to record what we have left, but again I have no idea of how to do this on my own. I was in the monastery again on saturday evening, and really It's going to be such a shame to loose.

My last request for help.... what can I do as an 18 year old leaving cert student to try and save this place?!? I'm trying publicity and objections but it's not working... newspapers don't seem to want to know about it either....

HELP!!!!!!!
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Re: Mount Argus

Postby JO'B » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:18 am

The second proposal has been in place since Xmas and the clsing date for comments was last Monday so it is too late to make an objection. There were about 20 objections however. Link to the DCC planning page below.

http://137.191.231.240/swiftlg/apas/run/WPHAPPDETAIL.DisplayUrl?theApnID=2106/09
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Re: Mount Argus

Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:48 pm

Rejected, scheme for 62 homes on Mount Argus site
Thursday March 19 2009

A controversial proposal for 62 homes in the grounds of a renowned church has been thrown out.

Dublin City Council has rejected an application from property developers Viera Ltd to build at Mount Argus Church in Harold's Cross.

Viera Ltd planned a mixture of apartments, duplex units and townhouses. But the scheme sparked 19 public submissions, including objections from TDs Catherine Byrne and Mary Upton.

In her letter of objection lodged before the refusal, Deputy Byrne (FG) said the building work would have a serious and negative impact.

"This development will bring about a large increase in traffic, particularly on Mount Argus Road, which is already subject to severe congestion during religious ceremonies," she added.

Deputy Upton (Lab) said the site was too small for the proposed density.

"This may be applicable for an inner city area such as the docklands but not for this location," said Deputy Upton in her letter of objection.

The zoning of the site was Z15, which was to provide for institutional and community uses. But there would have been no community gain from the development, she said.

Councillor Tony McDermott (Green Party) said that the scheme would have affected the integrity of the church, "a protected structure and important monument and shrine".

"The monastery contains many unique links to Ireland's most recent saint -- St Charles of Mount Argus, canonised in 2007 -- including his bedroom and private oratory."

He added: "The Shrine of St Charles is of international renown and importance for visitors and pilgrims from all over the world."

It is open to the developers to appeal the decision to An Bord Pleanala.
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Re: Mount Argus

Postby djasmith » Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:14 pm

For anybody interested, the remaining contents of the monastery are due to be auctioned off soon enough. I walked through the building this morning and the bulk of the lots are furniture, some well over 150 years old. IT is mainly chairs, tables, some grandfather clocks, televisions etc., and plenty of wardrobes / cupboards etc. Most of the furniture is quite old and I would recommend anyone with an interest in purchasing such things to take a look. It may also be one of the last opportunities for the general public to see the monastery in its current format - again I'd recommend it to anyone. Here are the details:

Viewing:
Sunday June 13th: 2p.m. - 5p.m.
Monday June 14th: 11a.m. - 7p.m.

The auction takes place on Tuesday June 15th at 10.30 a.m. in the monastery.

I may be floating around myself on Sunday evening and Monday evening if anyone would like to pm me and catch up for a bit of a chat there about the building.

dja.
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Re: Mount Argus

Postby PVC King » Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:33 pm

Do you know who the auctioneer is? there may be an online catalogue
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Re: Mount Argus

Postby djasmith » Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:19 pm

I honestly don't know who the auctioneer is, it's on none of the posters along the front of the monastery. I can try to find out tomorrow morning for you though. A google search showed up nothing on it though...
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Re: Mount Argus

Postby saintleger » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:35 am

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/property/2010/0610/1224272187742.html

The monastery, built in 1863, has been vacated and the remaining community of 18 Passionist priests and brothers has moved to a purpose-built monastery on the grounds. Father Pat Sheridan says while they will miss living in a monastery, the running costs were “astronomical”. Not that he thinks they’re going to make a killing at the auction. “The purpose of the sale is basically to empty out the building. Nothing at the auction is considered extremely valuable,” he says.

The fate of the old monastery depends on whether developer Twinlite gets planning permission for the site. In January an Bord Pleanála refused permission to build over 200 apartments on the site which would have involved demolishing part of the monastery and refurbishing the remainder .


http://www.hermanwilkinson.ie/news/story.html?id=82

Gallery here - supersized furniture, religious statues, and a cupboard that looks like a confession box, or possibly a confession box that looks like a cupboard.

http://www.hermanwilkinson.ie/gallery.html?section=onsite_auctions&index=27
http://www.hermanwilkinson.ie/gallery.html?section=onsite_auctions&index=22
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Re: Mount Argus

Postby PVC King » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:59 am

Thanks for links



A pity The Irish Pub Company went belly up; this material could really have created some great pub interiors; a refit of the former Dublin Working mans club perhaps?
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Re: Mount Argus

Postby Mike Kavanagh » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:27 am

What is to happen to Blessed Charles's Room and his DIY coffin?
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Re: Mount Argus

Postby djasmith » Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:32 pm

St. Charles' Coffin is currently on display in the church. As for his room, if plans go ahead the future of this room on the top floor are uncertain. Bear in mind that this room is just the room he died in, he, like many other religious who lived there over the years moved rooms on a regular basis.

As for the 'confession box that looks like a cupboard', that was in the library on the left as you go in the door. It's just the way the book cases are arranged that give it this impression. Rest assured though, it's not a confession box!
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