Church Sacred Heart & St Brigid, Kilcullen.
Chapel of Ease
St Joseph, Gormanstown.
Fr. Niall Mackey
Tel 045 481230
Fr. Martin Harte
Tel 045 481222
Tel 045 480727
Mon - Fri 10am-1pm
Kilcullen Bethany Bereavement Support Group
086 2668 228
Holy Day Masses
On the Day 9.30 am (or as announced)
Mass Times in our Cluster Parishes
Dunlavin : Sat Vigil 8pm, Sun 10am & 12noon Mon/Thurs/Friday 10am Wed 8pm
Ballymore Eustace : Sat Vigil 7pm Sun 10am & 11.30am Tues/Thurs/Fri 10am
History of Church
In 1829 Fr John Murtagh was appointed Parish Priest of Kilcullen — the first to hold the title officially — and he served In the parish for 43 years. He is buried within the old parish church in New Abbey, where a large prominent granite cross marks his resting place.
Towards the end of Fr Murtagh's days Fr Langan was appointed to assist him, his chief objective being to erect a new parochial church. A site was leased from John Harvey Lewis, Landlord, and the foundation stone was laid by Cardinal Cullen on August 9 1869. The architect was Mr J J McCarthy RHA of Dublin — a son-in-law of Pugin's, the celebrated architect of the previous era. Other churches designed by McCarthy Include Maynooth College Chapel, St Dominic's in Dublin, Crookstown, and Aughrim. All have unmistakable resemblances. The main contractor for the job was John Walter of Portlaoise and the work was completed In three years.
Stones for the church were quarried In the region of Tullamore and transported on canal as far as Corbally Harbour. The Harbour Master, who superintended unloading, was Darby Keegan — grandfather of Mr Edward (Ned) Ivory — and his two granduncles, Patrick and James Keegan, carted the limestone to Kilcullen. One of the stonemasons employed was a Mr Kelly of Mile Mill. The seats were made by Mr Denis Murphy at the rear of the premises now owned by Mr James Kelly, The Square. Carving of the capitals on the pillars was done many years later by an Italian artist. Another Italian artist executed the painting at the rear of the high altar. Confessionals are the work of Mr Bartle Lynch of Kilcullen. An impressive steeple was included in the original design but its cost was probably prohibitive. The pulpit, altar rails, organ and Our Lady's Chapel were added at a later date.
We have no precise Information on the original cost but the debt was reduced to £1,350 by 1880 and in the meantime the Parochial House had been built (1879). Financing these items must have demanded a gigantic effort and parishioners obviously made tremendous sacrifices in times which were tough.
Cardinal Paul Cullen dedicated and opened the church on September 6 1872. He was assisted by Canon Keogh of Balbriggan, Fr Bell of Ballymore Eustace and Canon Langan. The celebrant was Fr MacSwiggan, Marlborough St, and the Deacon was Fr Murphy of Kilcullen. Miss Dignam of Marlborough St conducted the choir. The Cardinal gave a very leisurely address, which was quoted extensively in the Freeman's Journal.
Canon Langan is interred in Our Lady's Shrine and the whole edifice remains as a lasting monument to his memory.
In 1872 Fr John Egan was curate here. Early In that year an outbreak of smallpox in Dublin spread to Kilcullen and Fr Egan contracted it in ministering to the people affected. He died early in the year before the church was completed and is buried In the Men's Aisle close to the Parish Priest's confessional. There is a small stained-glass window to his memory In Our Lady's Shrine.
(Extracted from The Bridge of September 1972, in an article to mark the centenary year of the church. The full article is reproduced in Thirty Years of the Bridge, available in many shops in Kilcullen.)