History

Boyounagh:

The site of the old church is in the centre of the pre-Norman townland of Boyounagh. In the 16th-17th century it belonged to the Protestant Archbishop of Tuam. It is approximately three and a half miles west of Glenamaddy on the main Cashel/Williamstown road. It is believed that monks founded a monastery here in the fifth or sixth century. Boyounagh has been mentioned in the annals of the Four Masters which tells of the burning of the church there in 1137, by men from Meath and Brefny. It is thought that the first church in Boyounagh was founded by St. Patrick, but there is no physical evidence to support this.

In the centre of the old graveyard are the remains of an old church. The foundations of it are still visible and there are many old stones and slabs in the vicinity that presumably came from the church. This is probably the remains of a medieval parish church. The tomb of the well-known local landlord, Martin McDonnell, who died in 1872, lies in close proximity to the church at the highest point in the graveyard. A Celtic cross rises above this tomb and its inscription is in Irish. Some of the headstones in the cemetery date back to the early 1800s.

The old headstone that is legible in the old graveyard dates back to 1834. In the centre of this graveyard is the remains of an old abbey. The base of the old abbey is still visible. There are many old stones and slabs in the vicinity, which presumably came from the old church.

Several historical sites can be found close by, including a children's burial ground. 10 miles to the east is a hollowed stone known as Tober Patrick. Boyounagh was the old name for the present day parish of Glenamaddy.

19th Century Church:

A Fr. Browne built the old church in 1820 in the present cemetery in Church Street. By the year 1900 it was in a state of disrepair, and entirely inadequate to accommodate the increasing number of worshippers.

19th Century Church

 

St. Patrick's Church:

In 1904 St. Patrick's church was built under the guidance of Fr.Conway,
parish priest from 1896 to 1919, at the edge of the town on the Dunmore road. In planning the church, Fr.Conway looked to some of the other fine churches in the diocese for inspiration. The foundation stone was laid on St. Patrick's Day 1904 by Archbishop Healy and the first Mass was offered in the new church on St. Patrick's Day 1905.

The workers involved in the building of the church were:

Architect: Thomas Hamilton, Galway.Stonework: Martin and Walter Murphy, Stonetown.
Limestone: Barrett's Quarry, Chequer Hill, Dunmore.Timber work: John Fahy, Scregg, Kilkerrin

   

 

The church was built in a gothic style and was decorated with the magnificent Harry Clarke and Earley stained glass windows. On the outside of the church gothic buttresses support the main walls. Inside the church three aisles were built, the middle one being the largest. Between the three aisles large columns joined by gothic arches were built to support the central roof.

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© Fr. Paddy Mooney, Glenamaddy Church

Contact: paddymooney@eircom.net

Boyounagh Tomb