St. Joseph’s Church in Cashel celebrated its 150th anniversary last month with a special Mass of Ccelebration followed by the community coming together.

The church, which was built in 1873, has seen a number of development and refurbishments, with the most recent seeing extensive work carried out around the church.

Prior to the erection of the church, Mass was celebrated on this site in a Mass Garden.

The foundation stone’s laying took place on Sunday, May 23, 1873 at a ceremony performed by Most Rev. Dr. Donnelly, Bishop of Clogher.

The architect was William Hague, Cavan and Dublin, and the builder was Arthur McHugh from Belleek.

Captain Tredennick of Camlin Castle donated the land for the building.

Fr. Terence McMahon was Parish Priest of Devenish West from 1847 to 1874 and he oversaw the laying of the foundation stone.

The Celebration Mass was led by Bishop of Clogher, Larry Duffy, and concelebrated by Fr. Tiernach Beggan, PP, and Fr. Gabriel Dolan, a Cashel native who is renowned for his human rights work in Kenya.

Other clergy attending included Fr. Seamus Quinn (Cleenish Parish), Fr. John Sexton (Rossinver-Ballynameehan) and the Rev. Rebecca Gildea (Church of Ireland).

In his foreword in the booklet created for the event, Bishop Duffy congratulated the “people of the Cashelnadrea district and the people of the wider Parish of Garrison-Belleek” as they marked the laying of the foundation stone.

“The history of the faith in this place, like in so many other places, is one of resilience and hope. Resilience to service the many challenges that faced people in days gone by, from the Penal Laws to famine, poverty and political upheaval.”

Concluding his foreword, Bishop Duffy said: “Today, 150 years on, as we face together the challenges of our time in a vastly different Ireland, may we continue to journey together, guided and strengthened by the Holy Spirit.”

Fr. Gabriel Dolan said: “[It was a] memorable day that reminded the community that they are the church, and it’s their responsibility to maintain the building and develop the faith.

“Churches will never close as long as the faithful use them.”