As part of national heritage week, a digital topological survey was carried out at St Mary’s Church and grounds today, August 19th 2022. The survey basically records the lie of the land and the outline of the building.
The survey is not only important for any future preservation work which may be undertaken, but also serves as a very useful point of reference for the future generations. Full details can be found on the heritageweek.ie website.
The Friends of Clonmethan group were recently nominated for the Mayor of Fingal Community Groups award. Unfortunately we were not successful on this occasion, but we were nominated and that in itself was a great achievement. Deputy Mayor councillor Cathal Boland presented our certificate of nomination to the group recently.
Further good news was received recently when the Minister for Darragh O’Brien called chairman to announce that we have received confirmation of a grant of €21500 – astounding amount of funds – to survey the tower and prepare the way for any works that will be needed to secure its future. Many many thanks to all involved.
As you may know, Remembrance Day (also known as Armistice Day) was last Thursday, November 11. As highlighted in an earlier post, the Friends of Clonmethan erected a memorial to those from our community you feel during the Great War and World War II. A few more names have been added recently as our research work progressed (see below).
Last Thursday, a ceremony was held at St Mary’s. It was captured on video, which you can see below. Our thanks to all those who attended, in particular Daragh O’Brien, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
On Friday last, October 8th, the Friends of Clonmethan and the local community welcomed his Grace Archbishop Micheal Jackson to formally bless the grave of Rev F.H. Aldhouse. During the last year, the Friends of Clonmethan erected a headstone to mark the final resting place of Rev. Aldhouse, who was the last resident rector of St. Mary’s Church.
It was Archbishop Jackson’s first visit to Clonmethan, and he received a very warm welcome. After some prayers, the Friends of Clonmethan presented Archbishop Jackson a YMCA WW1 medal, posthumously awarded to Rev. Aldhouse in appreciation of his humanitarian work during the Great War.
Also in attendance was Darragh O’Brien, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage and Councillor Brian Dennehy – both of whom were very supportive of the efforts of the Friends of Clonmethan. Local clergy, relatives of the deceased and the local community completed what was an excellent attendance.
A huge thanks to everyone who organised and attended what was an historic evening. Some photos of the evening are below, courtesy of Tommy Kavanagh and some of the attendees.
We are very pleased to announce on behalf of the Friends of Clonmethan that his Grace Archbishop Micheal Jackson will formally bless the grave of Rev F.H. Aldhouse. The formalities being at 6:15 pm on Friday October 8th, 2021. The earlier than planned start is due to fading light at this time of year.
Also in attendance will be Darragh O’Brien, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage and other local dignitaries.
All are welcome to attend, and light refreshments will be available. Parking will be manged by attendants. Many thanks to Jamie Callaghan and family of Glebe House for the use of their facilities for this event – they have been great supporters since we have been founded.
Some searching of the newspaper archives throws up interesting events for any period of time. A search of 1821 revealed an interesting article in the Belfast Newsletter of 25th May 1821 mentioning Clonmethan. Around this time, the issue of payment of Church tithes was a hot topic of the day. The article summarised below should be read in this context.
The Belfast Newsletter of 25th May 1821 reported on the revoking of an earlier Proclamation made by the Lord Lieutenant in March 1818. The Proclamation referred to the parishes of Naul, Wespalstown, Ballymadun, Garristown, Hollywood, Palmerstown and Clonmethan as being “in a state of disturbance and […] require an extraordinary establishment of Police”. The notice of May 1821 referred to “said parishes are restored to Peace and good order” and thus the Proclamation was revoked. It was actually revoked in May 1820, but only reported on in the newspaper around one year later.
The Irish Times of Nov 14th 1874 notes a church collection for the Dublin Sunday Hospital Fund. This fund was (as far as we can determine) a charitable fund set up to raise money through church collections for Dublin hospitals. The fund had some notable people at its helm as you can see below – including the Lord Lieutenant, the Earl of Meath and Arthur E Guinness (the great-grandson of Arthur Guinness)
Clonmethan was included in the church collections, as can be seen from this snip from the Irish Times.
The Fund seems to have been quite ahead its time. Charities at this time had no obligation whatsoever to publish any income or expenditure details. An article in the Britsh Medical Journal of May 31 1879 includes a letter from the Fund Secretary, noting how a similar London based fund did not do so (see below).
The Fund did indeed publish some information, as the snip below shows (Irish Times of January 21 1891). The church at Clonmethan contributed £2 14s. In 2021 values, this equates to about €71.
Looking back a century, to 1921, our country was coming to the end of the Anglo Irish war and heading into Civil War. To get a feel for the comings and goings of the time around Clonmethan and Fingal, the testimony of John Gaynor from the military archives is a nice read. Gaynor was a Captain in the Balbriggan Company of the Irish Volunteers.
The map below highlights the locations described. More can be found here.