Monkstown church designed by noted architect marks its 150th year

St Patrick’s is part of Dublin parish formed a week before Catholic Emancipation in 1829

A stained glass window from St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Monkstown Co Dublin.

A stained glass window from St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Monkstown Co Dublin.


St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Monkstown Co Dublin is marking its 150th anniversary this weekend, recalling its historical links with Catholic Emancipation.

“Our church is very beautiful. To sit in prayer in the church on a summer’s evening when the sun is shining through the magnificient staine glass windows is a truly religious experience,” said parish priest Fr Michael Coady.

St Patrick’s was opened on Sunday, September 16th, 1866.

“Life in the 1860s was still harsh, brutal and fragile,” Fr Coady recalled, “the church opened during a cholera epidemic in the area.”

In 1829, a week before Catholic Emancipation was granted by Westminister, the parish of Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) was constituted with Canon Bartholomew Sheridan as parish priest. It included Monkstown, Dalkey, Killiney, Glasthule. St Patrick’s in Monkstown was the last of five churches commissioned by him.

Architects were George Coppinger Ashlin and Edward Welby Pugin, son of Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin who designed the Houses of Parliament at Westminster, St Patricks College, Maynooth, St Aidan’s Cathedral Enniscorthy, Co Wexford and St Mary’s Cathedral Killarney, Co Kerry.

The younger Pugin, and his brother-in-law George Coppinger Ashlin, designed about 22 Irish churches, including St Joseph’s in Glasthule and the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook. The builder of St Patrick’s was Michael Meade of Great Brunswick St in Dublin, for £5,450, excluding the spire.That was added in 1881.

St Patrick’s was dedicated by Ireland’s first cardinal, the then Cardinal Archbishop of Dublin Paul Cullen, at a Mass which included music from Haydn’s Imperial Mass No 3, with Rossini’s Tantum Ergo performed at the Benediction.

To help defray costs there was an admission price ranging from 2s-6d for a “Small White Ticket, to Admit One to Lower Part of either Aisle” to the £1-5s-0d “Large Pink Family Ticket, to admit Three to Upper Part of Nave”.