This is a short history of the old and new Roman Catholic Churches in Donard.
The old Church
The parish forms part of the union or district of Dunlavin. The Chapel of Ease, which was the ‘old church’, was built to give easy access to a place of worship for the parishioners of Donard instead of travelling the longer distance to Dunlavin. Hence the name ‘The Chapel of Ease’ .
The old church was in Donard, Demesne West where the community hall is now. There was a national school in front of it which was built around 1820. In the early 1920s the ground rent for this church and school was twelve pounds.
Eventually, the church fell into disrepair and closed in 1925. I was told by Tommy Whittle, one of the oldest men in Donard today, that he was one of the last to be baptised in the old church.
The new Church
Donard was a very big parish at the time. All the parishioners came together and built a new church. It was situated approx half a mile outside the village. A lot of fundraising was done to fund the building. The church was opened in 1926.