Thursday, 26 November 2020

A private chapel that
once served the priests
and presbytery in Kilcolman

The private chapel at the former presbytery in Kilcolman, Co Limerick, stood to the left of the main house (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2020)

Patrick Comerford

I have been writing in recent days about two churches in Kilcolman parish in west Limerick: the mediaeval Saint Colman’s Church, which stood in Kilcolman from the 13th century until it was destroyed by a fire during the wars in 1641; and Saint Colman’s, the Gothic Revival church built across the street on a prominent site in the village in 1913.

If we count the chapel of ease that was built on the site of the present church in 1827, then this is a third church or chapel in Kilcolman.

But Kilcolman had yet another church or chapel from the 1860s until recent decades.

For about a century and a half, the ‘Old Presbytery’ was the home of the parish priests of Kilcolman and also hosted visiting clergy.

Some accounts says the house was built in 1862, others say it was built around 1880 for Father Michael Connery, with the help of a Board of Works loan, with an annual payment of £70 until the loan was paid off.

Father Connery was the Parish Priest of Kiloclman from 1878 until he died in June 1882.

Successive parish priests used a detached chapel beside the church to celebrate Mass on weekdays throughout the year.

These days, the parish priest of Kilcolman lives just down the road in a small bungalow and the ‘Old Presbytery’ is now a private house, the home of David McDonnell, his wife Rosanne, and their family.

The private chapel has since been linked to the main house, and it is now integrated into the accommodation of the house.

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