Ballaghmore is gearing up for a big weekend when parishioners celebrate the bicentenary celebration at St Molua’s Church
The celebration on Sunday, July 8 gets underway at 3pm with a Masss and will be attended by Bishop Kieran O’Reilly and former bishop Willie Walsh of Killaloe. Also present will be Roscrea minister Adrian Hewson and Lesley Robinson from the Church of Ireland as well as local priests Fr Tom Corbett, Fr Michael Harding, Fr Pat Treacy and Fr Lorcan Kenny.
A history of St Molua’s Church has been specially written for the parish by Liam Doran. It tells the story not just of the church but of its parishioners priests over the past 200 years.
There will be an hour of Mass followed by refreshments at 4pm. A lot of preparation is going into this event according to one of the organisers Breda Hally who is looking forward to Sunday.
“It’s an achievement that this church is still active within this small community. We don’t have a residing priest, so this Church is usually served by the priests of Roscrea,”
Marjorie Phelan, another organiser in the event added “This is an exciting time in the parish and a once-off. It’s a cause of celebration as this church survived 200 years of poverty and wealth. We are proud that our church has stood the test of time compared to some churches which have been knocked down.”
Ballaghmore is the smallest and most northerly parish in the Diocese of Killaloe. The Church was built in the shape of a cross in 1812 by Rev James O’Shaughnessy, parish priest of Roscrea and Kyle (also known as Ballaghmore).
At that time, Kyle was a part of Roscrea parish. Ballaghmore remained with Roscrea until 1846. In that year, Kyle separated from Roscrea to form a parish with Knock, which then became the parish of Kyle and Knock.
Fr Michael O’Connor was the first parish priest of Kyle and Knock. The parish had its own parish priest until 2002, when Fr Pascal Flannery retired. It has since then has been served by Roscrea. St Molua’s it underwent renovation in 1978-79.