Roden Pl Townparks Dundalk Co. Louth
On a Sunday morning in late summer of 1748, the officer commanding the Dundalk garrison was returning from an early morning canter,when he noticed at St. Helena’s Quay, a crowd of people assembled in and around an old shed. On enquiry he was told that they were Catholics attending Mass. Despite the fact that it was a penal offence, the officer was so impressed by the people’s fidelity to their religion that he persuaded the first Earl of Clanbrassil to grant the Catholics of the town a site for a permanent church.
The first St. Patrick’s was built in 1750 in Chapel St. This church served the needs of the people for almost a century. From 1843 it was used as a school and became the property of the Irish Christian Brothers from 1867. Fr. Matthew McCann (P.P. 1817-1836) acquired the present site for St Patrick’s in 1834. He was succeeded as parish priest by Fr John Coyne (PP 1836-1848). During his time as parish priest the new St Patrick’s was completed. The cost of this beautiful church was €25,000 and it took 12 years to build.