1881 – St Brigid’s Church, Clara, Co. Offaly

Architect: J.J. O’Callaghan / Ralph H. Byrne


Designed in 1876, and completed by 1881, and reminiscent of Pugin’s work at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Killarney – in particular the central crossing tower. The main facade is asymmetrical due to the organ loft staircase turret. The interior has a fine timber roof, and stobe vaulting beneath the tower. Later spire and mortuary chapel by Ralph H. Byrne. Windows by Mayer & Co. Sanctuary fittingts largely destroyed as a result of re-ordering.

“This church is now in course of erection, on a site in the centre of the town. It consists of a nave, with north and south aisles, transepts, chancel , side chapels , baptistery , and sacristy . The tower and spire are placed at the intersection of nave, transepts, and chancel, and when complete will reach a height of 190 feet . The extreme length of the building is 116 feet, the width across the nave and aisles 53 feet, and across the transepts 68 feet. The nave is divided from the aisles by arcades of four arches, carried on limestone shafts , with Portland stone carved caps and base . The roofs are open timbered. The principal entrance is in the west end , leading to west porch , over which is the organ gallery , approached by turret stairs, transepts. The stairs and belfry are at the east side of north There are also entrances through a south porch , and at west sides of transept.

The walls are built of the limestone of the district , hammered in courses ; the dressings are of chiselled limestone ; the interior dress ings , as well as the piers and arches carrying the tower , are also of chiselled limestone . The ribs of groining in tower will be of lime stone , filled in with cement concrete ; the roof will be covered with slate , arranged in bands of different colours. The contractor is Mr. Molloy, Tullamore , who is carrying out the work from the plans and under the immediate superintendence of Mr. J.J. O’Callaghan, F.R.I.A.I. , architect , Dublin.” The Architect, February 19 1876.

Photograph courtesy, and copyright of Keith J. Allen.

Last Updated May 31st, 2024 at 8:48 pm