Laois church closes to undergo major renovation

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Laois church closes to undergo major renovation

The Church of the Assumption, The Heath

A church in Portlaoise parish will close its doors for several months this week to undergo a major renovation.

Sunday Masses at the Church of the Assumption in The Heath will be celebrated in the Heath Hall next door.

The last Mass to be celebrated before the temporary closure will be next Monday December 30. The church is due to reopen for Easter.

The news was announced in the Portlaoise parish Link-Up before Christmas.

"On Monday 30th December builders will move into the Heath Church to begin a major work. The Church will reopen for Easter. In the meantime, Sunday Mass will be celebrated in the heath Hall adjacent to the Church".

The church will get: remedial damp treatment, a processional door entrance, new wiring and lighting, new limestone floor, new underfloor heating, new pews, a new Presiders chair, increased circulatory area, a new sanctuary layout, new shrine to Our Lady, new baptistry, painting and redecoration and refurbishment.

The building dates from 1836, built by Fr Nicholas O’Connor PP. An earlier church stood on the Ballydavis side of The Heath. The present building is rectangular and constructed from cut stone. The front has three entrance doors over which are three gothic windows. Above the central window is a stone in memory of Fr O’Connor.

The Tabernacle and a large silver Crucifix came from the old demolished SS Peter & Paul Church in Portlaoise. The side windows were installed in the 1940’s. The Baptismal Font is in memory of Fr Joseph Farrell, a noted preacher, who served as curate in Maryborough (1871-1878).